Who's Who at the Fairgrounds: Heroes Hall Museum vs. Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation

Check It Out (1)

Heroes Hall Museum (Museum) is owned and operated by the 32nd District Agricultural Association (32nd DAA) which is the state agency owning and operating the OC Fairgrounds. The Museum was built by the state with the state providing most of the funding. Most of the funding for operations, outreach, and other needs comes from the state. The Public can make a donation directly to the Museum of money or historical items, but the donation is not tax deductible. Volunteer opportunities are available by contacting Museum staff.

Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation (Foundation) is a private organization which has a contractual relationship with the 32nd DAA. The Foundation does not own or operate the Museum or provide the majority of Museum operating funds. The Foundation raises money which may be used for a variety of purposes and is not required to give all money raised to the Museum.

Who’s Who at the Fairgrounds: Tandem

Benjamins Question (2)

Tandem, formerly known as California Performance Marketing Group (CPMG) was hired to sell premium space at the annual OC Fair (called Platinum Partners), sponsorships, and group ticket sales. In 2015, outside the view of the Public, a decision was made to eliminate the state employees selling year round event rentals and to outsource all year round event sales to Tandem.

Tandem is paid on commission and receives free office space at the OC Fairgrounds. The commission schedule is:

Sponsorship Sales

Cash from new sponsors, mobile marketing tours and premium space renters 15%

Cash from renewing sponsors, mobile marketing tours and premium space renters 8%


Sponsorship Trade

Budget-relieving trade, both new and renewing 3%


Incremental Cash

Incremental cash from renewing sponsors, mobile marketing tours, and premium space renters 15%


Event Sales

Cash from new events (rent only) 25%

Cash from first event renewal (rent only) 17%

Cash from subsequent event renewals (rent only) 8%


Group Ticket Sales

Cash from new group ticket sales (25 or more tickets) 15%

Cash from renewing group ticket sales (25 or more tickets) 8%


Tandem’s contract runs through 2018.  Download Tandem Contract Amendments

Who’s Who at the Fairgrounds: Orange County Market Place

Chicken Question (2)

Tel Phil no longer operates the Orange County Market Place and has assigned the lease to Spectra. The lease runs through 2024 with a 10 year option to renew. Rent started at $1,700,000 per year in 2014 and increases to $2,668,500 in 2034.

A copy of the lease with amendments is here:  Download OC Market Place Agreement Amendments

Who's Who at the Fairgrounds: Spectra

Money Question (2)
Spectra, formerly known as Ovations, is a part of Comcast Spectacor, which has contracts to provide food, beverage and alcohol services at the OC Fairgrounds. Spectra pays a commission of 34% of gross sales of food and non-alcoholic beverages; 10% of gross catering sales; 40% of gross beer, wine and spirit sales; and 50% of the amount received by Spectra for commissions, fees or buyouts during events. Spectra holds the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) license for the OC Fairgrounds because governmental agencies are not allowed to have ABC licenses. The contract runs until 2024.

Current Contract  Download Spectra Ovations Contract with Amendment


Who’s Who at the OC Fairgrounds: Equestrian Center

At the corner of Arlington Drive and Newport Blvd, across the street from TeWinkle Park, is the equestrian center. The approximately 7.5 acre facility includes stables, riding arenas, wash areas, and hot walkers, among other amenities. The facility is owned by the state and operated under contract with an outside operator. Terms of the operations contract include payment of the greater of $3000 per month or 10% of the operators gross revenue each month in addition to expenses specified in the contract. The agreement is on a month to month basis.

The current lease is here  Download Equestrian Center Lease

Do Fair Board Directors Receive Gifts from Companies the Fairgrounds Does Business With?

Carnival Question (2)

Yes, Directors receive gifts from companies the Fairgrounds does business with. The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) sets an annual limit on the amount of gifts an official can receive before having to recuse themselves from acting on items regarding the source of the gift. Gift limits are updated annually by the FPPC:

Year     Legally Allowed Gift Limit
2014 $440
2015 $460
2016 $460
2017 $470
2018 $470

Directors have received passes valued at or just below the annual gift limit published by the FPPC from Ray Cammack Shows (RCS), the carnival and midway company.

Directors also receive gifts of food and beverages from Spectra, the onsite caterer who sells the alcohol.

$252,369 Contract for a Master Site Plan Process Has Unmet Needs & Unanswered Questions

What They Arent Telling You (1)

The Master Site Plan process cost the Public who own the OC Fairgrounds $252,369, and the Public was allowed one (1) meeting to have input. Work on the Master Site Plan started in October 2016. Board members, executive management, staff, and contractors were given opportunities for input to steer the process before the Public was given their one (1) meeting in June 2016.

The contract cost was increased by 30% in October 2017 with the contract amendment not made public until December 2017. When CEO Kathy Kramer was asked why the 30% increase in the contract amount was needed, CEO Kramer could not explain why the additional funds were required or what would be done with the additional funds. CEO Kramer claimed that the scope of work or deliverables had not changed and that the schedule had not changed even though the contract now cost 30% more, which does not make sense. CEO Kramer also could not explain why the contract was extended by a year.  

The contract with the Master Site Plan contractor is here: Download Johnson Consulting Amended Agreement

The proposal for Master Site Plan services which is now defines the work to be performed is here:

 Download Johnson Consulting Response to OC Fair Master Site Plan MS-12-16 8.19.16...