Proposed Del Mar Fairgrounds concert venue passes financial muster

A study conducted by business students at California State University San Marcos concluded that a proposed 1,900-seat music venue at the Del Mar Fairgrounds would be financially viable and could generate as much as $2.4 million per year from ticket sales and related revenue.

“Conditions are present to support a local concert venue,” the analysis concluded.

Fairgrounds officials invited the university to examine a draft business plan for the new concert venue, which would be located at the site of the fairgrounds’ under-performing satellite wagering center, called the Surfside Race Place.

The students presented their findings at a meeting of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, which runs the state-owned fairgrounds, on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

The study assumed that 80 to 100 live music concerts would be held at the venue each year, with an average ticket price of $45.

Construction of the venue is estimated at $11 million, and bookings would be handled by talent agents from the Belly Up Tavern, a successful live music venue in Solana Beach.

The next steps would include seeking financing for the project, and beginning design work. The fair board could consider moving forward with the proposal at its meeting in January.