Category Archives: Master Site Plan

  • Tuesday, January 31, 2023 (11:46 am)

    OC Fair Board approves first phase of master site plan

    COSTA MESA – The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors has approved the first phase of a master site plan that will improve the fairgrounds and position it for the future.

    Phase 1 includes the expansion of the OC Fair & Event Center administration building at an estimated cost of $25 million. This will add 15,659 feet of space and will make room for employees who will be displaced by future master site plan projects.

    In addition to work space, there will be meeting rooms, archive and storage areas, restrooms and additional security measures in the expanded building. The project is scheduled to begin this year and to be completed by the end of 2024.

    Future master site plan projects include a new Century Barn at Centennial Farm, an agriculture education center, expanded exhibit buildings, new public restroom facilities, Pacific Amphitheatre facility improvements, Action Sports Arena upgrades and an agriplex that will provide a place for livestock shows and educational space.

    “I am proud of the work that the staff and Board have put into this plan and I know it is a great path forward for OC Fair & Event Center,” said OC Fair & Event Center CEO Michele Richards. “We are on solid financial ground and the master site plan projects will bring the property new opportunities to serve the community, generate family fun and fulfill our mission.”

    Work on the eight-phase master site plan is expected to continue through 2032 and the Board will review and approve each project in sequence. The estimated total cost of all master site plan phases is $229 million.

    The Board approved the first phase of the master site plan at its Jan. 26 meeting by unanimous vote.

    View the master site plan PowerPoint presentation here, under Facility reports.

  • Monday, April 27, 2020 (9:52 am)

    OC Fair Board cancels 2020 Fair due to pandemic

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors voted unanimously today to cancel the 2020 OC Fair, one of the most anticipated and enduring summer celebrations in Southern California for 130 years. The Board considered ongoing guidance and updated information from State and County health care and government officials about the status of the coronavirus pandemic and the improbability that mass gatherings like the OC Fair could safely and responsibly take place this summer.

    In addition to the regularly scheduled monthly meeting, the Board called a second April meeting specifically to review all options and discuss whether or not to move forward with the 2020 OC Fair. The action comes amid unprecedented community stay-at-home and social distancing orders and will protect guests, vendors and staff during the COVID-19 crisis.

    “The decision to cancel the 2020 OC Fair was not taken lightly by the Board. As Governor-appointed representatives the Board has a responsibility to provide a safe experience to the community-at-large, the hundreds of people who depend on county fairs for their livelihood, fairgoers and OC Fair staff,” said Board Chair Sandra Cervantes. “While many of our guests have expressed extreme disappointment over the idea of the 2020 Fair being canceled, we strongly believe it is the right thing to do in this current situation. However, we will keep the spirit of the OC Fair alive with virtual fair concepts such as contests, competitions, entertainment and concessions to bring the fair experience to guests through and social media.”

    The 23-day OC Fair welcomes more than 1.3 million fairgoers each year and has an estimated economic impact of $350 million annually. The Fair was canceled 1942-1947 during wartime, but otherwise has been a summer staple since 1890. Information on refunds for concert tickets and Super Passes that have already been purchased can be found at

    “We love the OC Fair as much as our guests do. And, while it’s disappointing that the Fair can’t take place this year, we fully support the Board’s decision,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “But please know OC Fair & Event Center will still be here to serve the community as we plan for the next OC Fair and the eventual return of our wonderful events.”

  • Monday, January 14, 2019 (3:09 pm)

    Branding assessment project

    Help us evaluate our brands:

    • OC Fair & Event Center
    • Pacific Amphitheatre
    • Heroes Hall
    • Imaginology
    • Centennial Farm

    We have begun to evaluate out family of brands to determine current value in the marketplace and whether or not changes are warranted. We have grown and it is time to reassess.

    In addition to our OC Fair & Event Center brands, the exercise will include discussions about our property partners: equestrian center, OC Wine Society, Orange County Market Place and Spectra.

    Public participation is being sought during this process – community input is important as the fairgrounds looks toward the future.

    The advertising firm IMW of Costa Mesa has been contracted to perform the brand assessment and to offer recommendations. They began with meetings with staff groups and a workshop with the board of directors. A meeting of property partners and stakeholders has also been scheduled.

    The public is invited to participate in a branding assessment workshop – options are:

      • Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2-3 p.m. at OC Fair & Event Center OR
      • Wednesday, Jan. 30, 6-7 p.m. at OC Fair & Event Center

    The OC Fair & Event Center is located at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. These workshops will take place in the administration building.

    Those who are unable to attend one of the public meetings will have the opportunity to participate by completing an online survey that will be posted here following the workshops.

    Please continue to check and @ocfair on social media for the latest updates on this project.

    A little about brands …

    Brands are not just logos. A brand is more than what a product does or what it might communicate. Brands are the total perception of the entity’s “persona” in the marketplace, including an implied promise to customers that the facility and service will consistently meet their expectations. Brands evoke emotions. They delight us and make us feel that they are familiar and reliable. Branding differentiates a product from its competitors and creates added value for partners.

  • Saturday, May 5, 2018 (6:16 pm)

    OC Fair & Event Center Master Site Plan update

    At its April meeting, the OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors reviewed a draft master site plan concept from CH Johnson Consulting and heard input from the public. At the conclusion of the meeting the board voted to table the matter until May, choosing to slow the process to allow for further study and input.

    Next steps include the board continuing the dialog with representatives from the fairgrounds’ equestrian center about future plans for horse facilities and how to more closely integrate equestrian uses into the property. The board will also review cost projections and financing options, delve into assessments of existing buildings, determine additional uses of the fairgrounds for educational purposes and consider the potential use of green technologies.

    The board discussed taking time to work through the best plan and future options, rather than moving forward with the current plan as presented. When further plans and direction have been communicated by the board, meetings will be slated for the full board and the public.

    Links to related documents:

    Master Site Plan draft concept April 2018

    Master Site Plan cost estimate*

    Equestrian Center cost estimate*

    Northeast corner plan detail

    * A note about cost estimates from the Master Site Plan consulting team: “A rough order of magnitude cost assessment is an assessment based on generalized area take offs and anticipated construction costs for similar facilities. It establishes the anticipated cost for demolition, site preparation, new construction and site improvements including utility and infrastructure upgrades. It should be noted that none of these facilities are engineered, therefore cost can vary. Therefore it should be considered a generalized order of magnitude. In addition to the base cost, the methodology assumes a design-bid-build, single-prime contractor delivery method, and includes the costs associated with overhead, profit, general conditions, as well as a design contingency that is consistent with industry practices for this level of project definition.”

    For more information, and to comment on the Master Site Plan using our online form, please visit the Master Site Plan page.


    Posted in: Master Site Plan

  • Monday, April 23, 2018 (3:07 pm)

    Public comment sought on fairgrounds draft site plan

    This Thursday the OC Fair & Event Center’s board of directors will review a draft of a new master site plan concept and the public is invited to share comments and ideas.

    Johnson Consulting will present the latest draft version of a new roadmap for the future of the fairgrounds, home to the annual OC Fair and some 150 events throughout the year. Public comment on the master site plan draft concept will take place following the presentation.

    The meeting is Thursday, April 26, at the OCFEC administration building, 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and the draft master site plan is the main item on the agenda. The agenda and supporting documents can be viewed here:

    Public comment on the master site plan is always accepted online at A May public meeting will be set in the evening to review the next version of the plan.


    Posted in: Master Site Plan, OC Fair & Event Center


  • Friday, February 16, 2018 (4:35 pm)

    Update: Master Site Plan process continues – please share your input

    At a public workshop held during the Sept. 28, 2017, OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors meeting, three Master Site Plan Concepts were presented, and the Board provided feedback and direction to the MSP committee and staff.

    The committee and staff were asked to review all elements of the plan and determine what was not feasible and what would require improvements or changes. There were also questions that the committee and staff were asked to answer.

    The MSP committee, consultants and staff have been working to prepare a revised draft concept for the board to review at a public workshop during the April 26, 2018, Board of Directors meeting.

    The board will be providing direction on the MSP concept. Once the concept has been approved by the Board of Directors, OCFEC will be hosting a public meeting to share the final MSP concept.

    The staff has also been instructed by the committee to write and release a request for proposal (RFP) for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) consultant that will take the approved draft concept forward through this process.

    OC Fair & Event Center continues to seek public input on the Master Site Plan, our roadmap for the future. To submit feedback, please fill out the public input form. For more information, read the Master Site Plan FAQ.


    Posted in: Master Site Plan