Orange County fairgrounds sold for $96M

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COSTA MESA — The state of California has reached a tentative deal to sell the Orange County Fairgrounds to a local government consortium for $96 million.

State officials said Wednesday they will sell to the Orange County Fairgrounds Authority, which includes the city of Costa Mesa. The state legislature must approve the transaction.

The deal calls for the joint authority to pay the state $19.2 million immediately, with a 40-year promissory note with 5 percent interest.

The new owners will plow revenue back into the property for four years before beginning to make principle payments.

State lawmakers decided to sell the fairgrounds last year to help alleviate a crushing budget deficit.

But the state rejected bids at public auction because they were too low.

KPCC's Cheryl Devall contributed audio to this report.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.