Governor to announce plan to sell fairgrounds

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was expected to release a revised budget plan today that suggests the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds be put up for sale to help solve California's financial woes.

Schwarzenegger's team estimates that selling the 400-plus acre coastal

landmark, along with several other state properties, would raise as much as $1 billion, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported from Sacramento.

"It's shocking to me" Fairgrounds director Michael Alpert told the

newspaper. "I know these are very tough times, but I can't even imagine (it)."

The Del Mar Fairgrounds dates back to the late 1800s, when local farmers organized the county's first agricultural fair there. In the 1930s, horse racing was introduced on the site to help fund the fair.

As of today, California has a budget deficit of more than $15 billion

and that number could jump to $21 billion if voters reject the propositions in Tuesday's special election, according to published reports.

Other well-known properties the governor would like to see sold include the Orange County Fairgrounds, the Ventura County Fair, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, San Quentin State Prison on San Francisco Bay, Cow Palace in Daly City and the Cal Expo fairgrounds in Sacramento.

   
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