Del Mar Fairgrounds gets approval to move forward with concert venue

Officials aiming for a fall 2018 opening

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A proposed indoor concert venue at the Del Mar Fairgrounds will proceed as planned for a fall 2018 opening, the fairgrounds announced Friday.

Solana Beach City Council and the 22nd District Agricultural Association (DAA), which owns and operates the fairgrounds land, have reached an agreement over issues related to the plan, allowing the project to proceed.

RELATED: Plans reveal a 2,000-seat concert venue for Del Mar fairgrounds

The City of Solana Beach filed a lawsuit in June seeking a California Environmental Quality Act review of the plan to assess the impact on the city. Solana Beach issued a letter to the California Coastal Commission confirming the agreement with DAA and that the city no longer opposes the plan.

Tim Fennell, CEO of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, issued a statement on the approval:

"With the downturn in off-track wagering, we’re very excited about transforming this facility into a concert venue that will become a community asset enjoyed by our neighbors and the general public. It will generate jobs and we hope new horse racing customers as well."

The plan will see a $13 million renovation of Surfside Race Place, an off-track betting facility on the fairgrounds, into a 1,869-seat concert venue. Fairgrounds officials say the venue will host about 60 concerts a year and include historical exhibits of San Diego County Fair, horse racing, and craft beer.

PHOTOS: What the proposed Del Mar concert venue could look like

The venue will also house a beer tasting room and satellite wagering area.

Construction on the venue is expected to begin December 2017.

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