Meeting Presentations

Take a Day Off Work to Attend Master Site Plan Reveal on April 26, 2018


Bullhorn Meeting (1)

The Master Site Plan selection will be revealed on Thursday, April 26, 2018, Download Master Site Plan Notice _February_Board_Packet during a meeting which starts at 9 AM when most people have work, school, or other commitments. Despite repeated asks for evening meetings, the Fair Board chooses to meet at a time when it is hard for people to attend their meetings. The meeting time is by the choice of the Fair Board and nothing in statute says the Fair Board must meet during the day. Oversight of the planning was done by a member of the building trades whose employer can benefit from the project. 

The proposed schedule is:

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Agenda items 1-9 (including Call to Order through Governance Process, workshop/training to be last governance item)

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Short recess for room re-set (if necessary)

10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Workshop/Training to commence

12:30 p.m. – 12:40 p.m. Short recess as boxed lunches are delivered for Board of Directors and members of the public

12:40 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Workshop/Training to continue through working lunch

2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Wrap up of final Agenda items (Board of Directors Matters of Information and Adjournment)

The Fair Board does not stream or make video recordings of their meetings. This is another choice made by the Fair Board.  With over $40 million in cash and cash equivalent reserves Download Financials_February_Board_Packet, there is no shortage of resources.

The Fair Board is expected to present plans to begin the process of creating a convention and expo center with year round, daily, heavy use. As the process is being led by CEO Kathy Kramer who worked on the $600 million remodel of the Phoenix Convention Center  with the assistance of VP of Operations Ken Karns who helped to convert Western Fair in London, Ontario, Canada to a year round entertainment and expo center and CEO Kramer celebrated a $1 million sales month in December 2017 Download Million Dollar December_January_Board_Transcript, the project will have major impacts on Costa Mesa. The remodel of the Phoenix Convention Center triggered development of hotels and an entertainment district


Contact Fair Board Directors

The Fair Board Directors are: Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Douglas La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Nick Berardino, Robert Ruiz , Sandra Cervantes, Stan Tkaczyk

Fair Board Directors do not have official email accounts for their jobs, again by their choice. Email Summer Angus, Board secretary, and ask her to forward your message to the Fair Board Directors.  Summer Angus

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer 


Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns










Proposed Convention and Expo Building Blocks in Centennial Farm


While the Fair Board claims that agriculture is a primary focus of the OC Fairgrounds, actions don't support those claims.  New Master Site Plan proposals show a new 40,000 sq ft "Educational Meeting Center" with a 20.000 sq ft ballroom being built behind Centennial Farm. 

Aspirational_CentralCampus_Sept 17 Board

The "Educational Meeting Center" is a meeting and conference center with a fancy name.  The ballroom will be used for conventions, tradeshows, meetings, and other events.  This is not a school building and there are no plans to open a school of the arts which will use the classrooms and ballroom on a daily basis for arts education, rehearsals, and performances. 

Space for expanding Centennial Farm would be lost to the "Educational Meeting Center".  Expect the building to be two or more stories tall and to dominate the landscape with bulk and mass. A building of the size and location shown can cast shadows on Centennial Farm, which can harm the agriculture exhibits. 

While claims are made that agriculture is important, the Master Site Plan proposals show making money by becoming a convention and expo center is more important than agriculture, and that harming the agriculture mission is okay if there is money to be made. 


Three Master Site Plan Proposals to Make the OC Fairgrounds into a Convention & Expo Center

In September 2017, at the Fair Board meeting at 9 AM on a Thursday, when the majority of residents are at work or at school, the Fair Board presented three Master Site Plan proposals which move the OC Fairgrounds away from being a fairground and into being a convention center. This is a map of what we have now at the OC Fairgrounds:

Existing Facilities_Sept 17 Board

The least the Fair Board wants to build includes doubling the size of the Administration building and adding a 50,000 sq ft "Ag-Expo Hall".  Adding an expo hall which is about the size of a football field and which will be two or more stories tall is a lot of building to add, especially when the Fairgrounds can't rent out the space they already have. The Ag-Expo Hall may have the word "Ag" short for agriculture in the name, but this is whitewash and this 50,000 sq ft expo building is for convention and exposition use. 

The view of the entire site for Concept 1: "Minimal":

Minimal_Sept 17 Board

Close up of the Main Mall area for Concept 1: "Minimal":

Minimal_CentralCampus_Sept 17 Board

And here is what needs to be demolished to make Concept 1: "Minimal" work:

Minimal_Demolition_Sept 17 Board

A second proposal has the 50,000 sq ft expo building, which can grow to 125,000 sq ft. That is a building two or more stories high and about one to two and a half football fields in size.  A  40,000 sq ft "Educational Meeting Center" with a 20,000 sq ft ballroom is proposed behind Centennial Farm. There are no plans for an arts school at the Fairgrounds which would use the "Educational Meeting Center" for education. This building is another convention and expo building with a fancy name to distract you from what is being done. 

The view of the entire site for Concept 2: "Aspirational":

Aspirational_Sept 17 Board

A close up of the Main Mall for Concept 2: "Aspirational":

Aspirational_CentralCampus_Sept 17 Board

And what must be demolished to build Concept 2: "Aspirational":

Aspirational_Demolition_Sept 17 Board

There is more to be done in Concept 3: "Bold" which has the 40,000 sq ft building behind Centennial Farm, an expo hall between 75,000 sq ft and 150,000 sq ft, and a wind turbine farm  (WTF) in the parking lot next to Newport Blvd. The WTF extends along Newport Blvd to Fair Dr.  This proposal has between 115,000 sq ft to 190,000 sq ft of new buildings, which is about two and a half to nearly four football fields of space. It is not clear why all of  this new space is needed because much of the space currently at the Fairgrounds sits unused much of the time. No member of the Public asked for the WTF, but the Board wants the WTF. If the Board didn't want this plan, why would the Board direct this plan to be drawn, right?

The entire site for Concept 3: "Bold":

Bold_Sept 17 Board

Close up of the Main Mall for Concepts 3: "Bold":

Bold_CentralCampus_Sept 17 Board

And what needs to be demolished to construct Concept 3: "Bold" with the WTF:

Bold_Demolition_Sept 17 Board

The whole presentation at the September 2017 Board meeting is here in two parts because the files are large:

Download Sept 17 Board Master Site Plan Presentation Part-1

Download Sept 17 Board Master Site Plan Presentation Part-2


The Board has refused to provide the Public, who own the Orange County Fairgrounds, with substantive information about what is being done on the Master Site Plan since the September 2017 presentation of these proposals. Work continues to move the Master Site Plan forward, to flesh out concepts and to figure out how much money the Fairgrounds is going to make from these plans, but the Fair Board only states that they are meeting in backrooms to make decisions which the Fair Board refuses to let the Public participate in the process or to see what is being done to the property the Public owns.