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Report Spells Out Financial Impact Of Del Mar Fairgrounds

Photo caption:

Photo by Intersofia

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Aerial view of the Del Mar Fairgrounds

A new report details the financial costs and benefits of the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Del Mar and Solana Beach.

A new report details the financial costs and benefits of the Del Mar Fairgrounds on the surrounding Del Mar and Solana Beach neighborhoods.

Ever since the cities of Solana Beach and Del Mar sued over plans to expand the Del Mar Fairgrounds, there have been questions about exactly how much the busy fairgrounds cost the cities, compared to the financial benefits.

The cities agreed last year to contribute $30,000 each for a study — and now the results are in.

For the tiny city of Del Mar — population 4,161 — estimated annual revenues are about $1 million a year higher than expenses.

The city spends an estimated $340,000 on fire and sheriff services, plus public works. It earns $1,375,000, mostly from sales tax and transient occupancy taxes, but also revenues from off-track betting.

Solana Beach, which hosts a smaller area of the fairgrounds, has a net gain of about $200,000 a year. The city spends about $102,000 and earns $312,000 back, mostly in transient occupancy taxes.

The staff report said some costs are not quantified in the study: for example, “quality of life” issues like crowds, noise and traffic.

The fairgrounds draw about 3 million people a year to 350 events.

The Solana Beach and Del Mar city councils are due to review the report later this month.

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