•  flamo
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007 7:50:28 AM


U.S. Open organizers could pay so events don't overlap
By Elizabeth Fitzsimons

August 15, 2007

DEL MAR – Setting a date for the 2008 San Diego County Fair hinges on whether the organizers of the U.S. Open will pay $800,000 to cover the financial loss if the fair opens three days late in deference to the golf championship, which will be held at Torrey Pines next year.

AdvertisementThe golf tournament is planned for June 9-15, while the Del Mar Fairgrounds was tentatively set to host its annual extravaganza June 13-July 6. The events combined would draw more than 100,000 people to Torrey Pines and neighboring Del Mar, creating a traffic and parking nightmare.
At a meeting with the fairgrounds board of directors yesterday, CEO and general manager Tim Fennell said he was meeting with U.S. Open organizers over the issue. He said he may request a meeting with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders because the city of San Diego owns the golf course.

Fennell told the fairgrounds board that he proposed postponing the fair's opening date for three days, with the U.S. Open buying out the fair for $800,000, the amount the fairgrounds would lose by the delay.

He also proposed not opening on Friday, June 13 and having later openings on the first Saturday and Sunday of the fair.

The fair cannot extend its run later into July because it must hand over the fairgrounds to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which leases the property for racing season.

The fair is also restricted by the schedules of other fairs in Southern California. Workers at the San Diego County Fair arrive and depart depending on other fairs.

Part of the negotiation with the U.S. Open would be to convince it of its need for parking and the massive traffic snarls that the two events would create.

Plans have been made to have golf fans park at Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley and take shuttle buses north to Torrey Pines.

“They really need an area in North County where you can park 15,000 cars,” Fennell said.

He said he hoped to have dates for the fair by next month's meeting. He also promised to reveal next year's theme.

“I think it's going to be very timely,” Fennell said. “I wish I could tell you more, but I can't.”

Although Fennell did not yet have the net profit figure for this year's fair, he said it was the most successful in his 15 years at the fairgrounds. It had the highest attendance, with 1,265,997 visitors.

From the weather to the “Everyday Heroes” theme to the new offerings and music, “everything just went very, very well,” he said.

Elizabeth Fitzsimons:
(619) 542-4577; elizabeth.fitzsimons@uniontrib.com

The fair board is making sure they get thiers but what about the midway, vendors and exhibitors? Do they just suck it up or are they going to get reembursed for what they lose?
I'm there, Old, Tired, Broke and Henpecked
  •  bigeli
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  • Maintenance Supervisor
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 7:54:11 AM
So the fairboard is loosing 266k a day ? I'm sure huge amounts can be justified,but i'd love to see an invoice.....I doubt anyone else but the board would see a dime.Who's gonna cover the three days of draws !?
So, in a few years, if you're walking down a midway and see a Sixcat or a Swinger or a bucket, look around. You might recognize an old man with a smile on his face. Especially if he's saying, "Hey Buddy, can I ask ya?" -sixcat,circa. 2007