1101 West McKinley Avenue
Pomona, California 91768
Telephone: (909) 623-3111
Fairgrounds (opened 1922)
The site of the massive Los Angeles County Fair, the Fairplex grounds include a 10,000-seat grandstand for the Fairplex Park horse racing track and six major expo halls of varying sizes, not to mention 32,000 parking spaces in its vast 487-acre complex.
Originally a beet and barley field, the site was purchased by the City of Pomona to provide a site for a Los Angeles County Fair to be held. It opened October 17, 1922 as the site for the inaugural Fair, the largest single-county fair in America, with over 1.5 million attendees flooding the facility in late September each year. The grandstand was added in 1932 and many of the exhibition buildings were added as Works Progress Administration projects in the 1930s. Although closed for Army use during World War II, the Fair re-opened in 1948 and was re-named Fairplex in 1983. It is now the site of year-round activity. It was proposed as the site for the Modern Pentathlon for the Los Angeles bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Pomona Raceway, a famed site in hot rodding, is located on the grounds and is separately profiled.
The Fairplex Park horse racing facility includes a 5/8ths of a mile track with 10,000 seats in the main grandstand. Originally built in 1932, it was significantly renovated in 1986.
There are eight major exhibition halls on the grounds, mostly of which were built in the 1930s; most were renovated in 1989. The combined exhibition space tops 325,000 square feet.
•Location and parking:
Fairplex is located just off the San Bernardino (10) Freeway, easily accessed from the Fairplex Drive, White Avenue or Garey Avenue exits.
The Fair Association manages the facility under the direction of CEO Jim Henwood. Inquiries concerning use of the facility should be made to Dale Coleman, director of sales and marketing at (909) 623-3111 or by fax at (909) 865-3602.
The Fairplex Park facility includes the 10,000-seat grandstand and the dirt track covering 5/8ths of a mile in circumference and 75 feet in width. There are on-site stabling facilities (see below) and year- round betting halls for those who play, rather than ride, the ponies.
Spectator amenities include an excellent box office at the Grandstand entrance, an infield tote board and television monitors throughout the facility, permanent concession stands and the Paddock Grill & Bar and Top of the Park restaurants. Night lighting was added in 1986 and there is a press box at the top of the grandstands for news media use.
The equine center includes a lighted Outside Arena of 125 by 270 feet with shaded bleacher seating for 800. There is a warm-up ring (90 by 200 feet) adjacent and a small covered arena (60 by 160 feet) with modest bleacher seating nearby. The Covered Arena also measures 125 by 270 feet inside and has interior lighting and bleachers for small or nighttime shows. Stabling facilities includes 270 permanent box stalls, 210 covered portable stalls and 31 cement-floor tack rooms.
Exhibition spaces include six major halls. The largest is Building 4 with interior dimensions of 770 feet long by 130 to 146 feet wide (105,600 square feet total); this venue also offers a 64 by 19 foot stage at one end with eight dressing rooms); buildings 5, 6,7 and 8 all have 33,600 square feet of space with identical interior dimensions of 100 by 318 feet; each is equipped with its own ticket office and two 360 sq.ft. show support offices. Building 3 is quite flexible with 11,486 sq.ft. distributed among five interior rooms.
Important additional installations on the Fairplex lot include a Pomona Police Department sub-station and the 247-room Sheraton Suites Fairplex Hotel (601 West McKinley Avenue; telephone: (909) 622-2220), which offers an additional 11,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space.