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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 10:36 pm | Fair 41º


Earl Warren Showgrounds Posts Budget Surplus for Eighth Straight Year

But its operating agency faces a challenging 2012, with state funding withdrawn

The 19th District Agricultural Association, a California state agency that locally manages and operates the Earl Warren Showgrounds, announced Tuesday that it has achieved a budget surplus during the 2011 fiscal year ended Dec. 31.

This marked the eighth consecutive year that the 19th District Agricultural Association has achieved a surplus in its annual budget.

Revenue for 2011 increased 3.5 percent over 2010 with the Santa Barbara Fair & Expo and additional facility rental operations driving the increase.

Historically, the Showgrounds has generated 95 percent of its operating budget through the rental of its facilities and production of sponsored events such as the Santa Barbara Fair & Expo, the Santa Barbara National Horse Show and the Santa Barbara National Amateur Horse Show, with 5 percent of its revenue funded by the state.

The year 2012 promises to be more challenging for the 19th District since the most recent state budget eliminated all fair funding, now requiring the district to produce 100 percent of its operating budget.

The district plans to make up for the 2012 budget cut shortfall by making changes in its food and beverage business, increasing the number and type of facility rentals and controlling operating expenses.

The 19th District Agricultural Association is a state agency directed by the Division of Fairs and Expositions under the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The mission of the 19th District Agriculture Association is to develop and maintain quality equine and public event facilities and to provide opportunities for positive guest experiences, in both education and entertainment by delivering professional service while becoming a financially self-supporting entity.

— Scott Grieve is CEO of the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

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