Costa Mesa’s exclusive negotiations for the Orange County Fairgrounds have left some wondering how a city facing a projected $3.7 million budget deficit can afford Sacramento’s price of $96 million to $180 million.
When a live auction for the fairgrounds opened Jan. 14, the city and county’s joint bid of $6.5 million was among the lowest.
They were willing to pay up to $40 million, an amount that would have fallen short of the winning bid.
City officials on Thursday wouldn’t state how much they would pay or how they propose to finance a deal.
County Supervisor John Moorlach, a certified public accountant, offered some advice for the city in its negotiation with the state.
“It’s fine if the city wants to buy the fairgrounds, I just hope that they pay a fair price and don’t get too emotionally involved in the process,” he said.