I can't answer whether the fairgrounds get enough use ("Fairgrounds
sale draws community ire," Friday). I am one person without
environmental reports. Without the fairgrounds, Costa Mesa would be
just another town to drive through. If I were to move and others did
the same, some local businesses would falter, although certainly
Costa Mesa would survive.
From the papers, we read that the fairgrounds could be sold for
$230 million to $350 million (local broker's estimate), yet the
grounds bring in $189 million annually (hence not worth selling) in
revenue and the city makes $600,000 per year. Strange math.
The fairgrounds should look at other uses, but come to think of
it, with an amphitheater, car museum, ethnic fairs, equestrian site,
county fair, the speedway, farm, swap meet, used car lot ... what we
really need is an NFL team, so we can break the $1 million barrier
(instead of just $600,000). There is a little Andy Rooney in all of
us -- frankly, can anyone name a state-owned property so overused?
The fairgrounds have been around longer than most people have
resided in Costa Mesa or Orange County and survived through
California being rich and poor; therefore, the fairgrounds should
If I had one reasonable idea for the fairgrounds, it would be an
area that could be used daily to the public, that also creates
revenue. There is a void there. The rich can tie up their horses, but
gone are the go-cart track and driving range across from the Costa
Mesa Civic Center.
The next question should be: "What should be added to the
fairgrounds?" Bowling alley, go-cart track, drive-in theater, skating
rink, water slide?
The state should have no objections; it's under-used, remember?