DEL MAR, Calif. — People who enjoy one of San Diego’s most beloved summer events reacted to news that rides at the San Diego County Fair, held at Del Mar Fairgrounds, could be in jeopardy.
A San Diego Superior Court judge issued an injunction Tuesday that blocks a contract approved by 22nd District Agricultural Association, which oversees the fairgrounds. At issue is the running of the Midway area, where all the rides, games and food vendors operate.
Last year, two companies submitted bids for the contract to operate this year’s Midway area – Tally Amusements and Ray Cammack Shows, or RCS. Talley Amusements submitted the better bid, but the agricultural association awarded the five-year deal to RCS.
Talley sued and Judge Keneth Medel agreed, writing that the qualifications were essentially rigged in favor of RCS in his 14-page ruling. He wrote in part:
“The evidence presented supports an inference of ‘favoritism,’ ‘fraud’ and ‘corruption’ as to the award of public contracts, although no such definitive findings are made herein.”
The 22nd District Agricultural Association also issued a statement, reading in part:
“We are very concerned by some of the contentions upon which the court’s ruling is apparently based, which have not been proven.”
It goes on to say, “with fewer than ten weeks before the start of the fair, the 22nd DAA is committed to doing everything it can to save this beloved summer ritual that is enjoyed by 1.5 million San Diegans and Californians.”