Economic impact

OC Fair & Event Center’s benefit to the local economy

This information is from the California Fairgrounds 2015 Economic Impact Study by the California Department of Food & Agriculture Fairs & Expositions Branch:

Local fairgrounds attendees’ spending snapshot by the dollar

Beyond the Orange County Fair & Event Center’s traditional offering of cultural, educational and agricultural activities, it also generates a wealth of tangible benefits:

• The fairgrounds generated approximately $299,567,000 in spending activity alone in 2015, benefiting the local economy and creating a ripple effect of economic benefits for California.

• In 2015, the entire Network of California Fairs generated upwards of $3.9 billion in economic activity benefiting local, state and global economies.

• The Board of Equalization estimates that in 2015, the total sales and use tax revenue for the California Network of Fairs was approximately $66 million. The Orange County Fair & Event Center creates California jobs through an economic ripple effect of fairgrounds patron spending and the business activity required in support of fairgrounds activities and events:

• In 2015, the equivalent of 2,515 jobs was created as a result of the spending by the fairgrounds, its support businesses and its attendees.

• In 2015, the labor income generated by these additional jobs was approximately $99,897,000. The Orange County Fair & Event Center also generates business tax revenue through the collection of state and local sales taxes, transient occupancy taxes, possessory interest taxes and other taxes and fees. These revenues stimulate further economic activity by providing for programs that benefit the local community.

About OC Fair & Event Center

This multi-use venue features 150 acres of diverse, flexible space ideal for the annual fair along with a year-round calendar of events and activities.

The Orange County Fair & Event Center is also home to several permanent educational installations including Centennial Farm, a three-acre working/demonstration farm that provides school children and the general public with an up-close opportunity to learn about California’s rich agricultural heritage. 

The OC Fair & Event Center is owned, operated and governed by the 32nd District Agricultural Association, an institution of the state of California. It is also the home of the annual OC Fair, a vital part of the Network of California Fairs whose influence is widespread.

Fairs are a reflection of their communities’ growth and progress. They celebrate our history and our heritage. They provide educational inspiration for our youths and wholesome, family-oriented entertainment for all ages. Livestock and 4-H programs support California’s vibrant agricultural sector. And people from all walks of life enter their artwork, baked goods, photography and other handmade crafts in pursuit of bragging rights and blue ribbons.

Fairs provide many nonprofit and charity-based organizations with the opportunity to raise substantial portions of their annual budgets through fundraising booths and activities. Fairgrounds are even used as staging sites and rescue locations during forest fires, floods, earthquakes and other emergencies.

Fairs are also a large financial contributor to both local and state economies. In 2015, overall spending by all participants at fairtime and during interim events resulted in a total economic impact on California of upwards of $3.9 billion. The income impact from attendee, fair organization and fair-related business spending in 2015 exceeded $1.2 billion. In addition, jobs created by fairs through direct employment and multiplier impacts reached 30,000.