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June 2009 home page

Del Mar to Sell Name

from Al Tarkington, former Mayor of the City formerly known as Del Mar
Photo illustrations by Art Olson.

The San Diego Union revealed that Tim Fennel, CEO of the Del Mar Fairgrounds (not to be confused with the “San Diego County Fair”) recently announced that the Fair has sold “Presenting Rights” to Albertsons for $1.3 million. Mr. Fennel had been looking for “naming rights” for the actual state-owned fairgrounds, and is purportedly still looking for someone to purchase naming rights for the property. Fennell went on to propose “presenting rights” for different events.
This would appear to go hand in hand with the rumor that the Fairgrounds is looking to put up giant illuminated flashing billboards on both sides of I-5 next to the San Dieguito Lagoon.

Del Mar officials initially scoffed at the naming rights idea, but with the current economic crisis and the red ink at City Hall, they have given it more thought. In closed session, the Council reached out to several supermarket chains for naming rights for Del Mar. Besides, renaming the City would remove the stigma of Del Martians being considered “elitist.” The Council narrowed the field down to two finalists. And, in typical Del Mar fashion the City Council is calling for a special plebiscite where the citizens will vote on changing the name of the City to either Whole Foods Market or Trader Joes.

As with the fairgrounds, naming rights could be extended to smaller venues. Possibilities discussed might include “Dexter’s Deli Dog Beach,” “Bully’s Ranger Patrol,” or the “Crest Canyon presented by Jelley Properties.” The City is also considering changing its motto from “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” to “Where Your Name in the Sand will be Grand.”


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