Bill would allow Del Mar to buy its fairgrounds

Unlike Costa Mesa, the city of Del Mar appears to have a better chance of buying its 400-acre fairgrounds from the state.

Assembly Bill 181 was introduced late Wednesday to allow the San Diego County city to buy the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds.

The bill would allow that city to issue revenue bonds to partially finance the $120-million purchase from the state. The bill would also authorize Del Mar to establish a nonprofit organization to operate and maintain the property.

Selling the fairgrounds is part of a plan to sell high-valued state properties to help close the state's budget deficit.

The city of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach-based Facilities Management West, a real estate company, offered $96 million to the state for the Orange County Fairgrounds.

But the deal hit a dead end after Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana), who was expected to file the proper legislation to complete the purchase, dropped his support.

Mona Shadia

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