Del Mar will soon be home to a new indoor concert venue set to host 60 concerts a year, approximately one per week. The plan is to renovate the Surfside Race Place at a cost of $13 million.
Surfside Race Place was built in 1991 to serve as a betting facility with restaurants and a Vegas style Race Book with the capacity to hold 5,000 people. Over the years visitors have dwindled and Surfside has only been hosting 500 people a day, in part because of tribal casinos popping up.
When completed, the Del Mar Fairgrounds concert amphitheater will seat 1,869 people and have a distillery, a tasting room, an outdoor area for events, a bar and food area and a room of historical exhibits.
Turning the Surfside Race Place into a concert venue has been met with controversy from Solana Beach city officials who filed a lawsuit seeking a California Environmental Quality Act review. The residents of Del Mar and Solana Beach are concerned about public safety, noise and traffic impacts.
Proponents of the concert venue say it will bring jobs, new horse racing customers and will restore year-round business to the fairgrounds.
The City of Solana beach reached an agreement and approved a memorandum of understanding at a council meeting and they are no longer opposed to the project. The new concert venue is moving forward. Look for construction to begin in December, with a tentative opening date in the fall of 2018.