Our View

Be part of the proposed sports/event center discussion

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Know and Go:

What: proposed Placer Sports and Event Center public hearing on draft environmental impact report

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 17

Where: @thegrounds, 800 All America City Blvd., Roseville

Info: senior project manager Suzy Vose at 530-886-4950 or

Fairgrounds can be much more than just a venue for the annual county fair a few days each year.

The estimated total economic impact of all 77 fairgrounds’ events and fair operations for California in 2015 was about $3.9 billion, according to the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture Fairs and Expositions Branch.

Some fairgrounds are daily destinations with activities and events for families and individuals of all ages.

For example, consider the Nevada County Fairgrounds, named one of the state’s most beautiful sites. The almost 90-acres venue is bustling with annual and one-time events throughout the year. In 2015, approximately 270,000 visitors were at Nevada County Fairgrounds events.

On a daily basis, residents and out-of-towners are enjoying Farmers’ Markets, concerts, performances, community events, fundraisers or just walking around the Nevada County Fairgrounds for exercise.

The Nevada County venue hosts the annual fair, the wildly-popular Draft Horse Classic, Country Christmas Faire, RV Park and weddings, for starters.

Our Placer County fairgrounds in Roseville, now called @thegrounds, could become just as busy.

The Placer Valley Tourism has done a great job since July 2017 when it entered a 35-year management agreement with Placer County to take over the venue. More than $10 million was spent in renovations to transform the fairgrounds into a multipurpose event center. The extensive effort has been a combination of renovating the decades-old Jones and Johnson halls into meeting space and upgrading the multi-use barns to making the fairgrounds easier to navigate for the public, from new walkways to more parking.

Then there’s Bill McAnally Racing Promotions, which now has a long-term contract for the operation of all motorsports events @thegrounds’ All American Speedway. McAnally is a beloved local businessman and seven-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion. While his goal is to bring the family experience back to the speedway, McAnally is also committed to being a good neighbor to nearby residents by running fewer races and finishing events earlier.

Attracting events to @thegrounds is just beginning.

 Placer Valley Tourism and Placer County wants to build a 160,000-square-foot, indoor sports and event center, with the potential for adding a 30,000-square-foot expansion and a 6,000-square-foot culinary building @thegrounds. Target opening date is in early 2020.

As many as 300 events and conferences per year could be hosted @the Grounds after the completion of the renovations and events center’ construction. The annual economic impact from events held at the entire @the Grounds site is estimated to be $12 million to the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln, according to Placer Valley Tourism’s marketing director Kim Summers.

The project’s construction financing would come from the nonprofit Placer Valley Tourism, which is secured by the Business Improvement District assessment fees collected by the hotels in Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.

It’s not a tax, stressed Placer Valley Tourism’s Summers.

Going back to the Nevada County Fairgrounds, its 2015 events generated about $28 million in spending activity, benefitting that local economy and creating a ripple effect of economic benefits for California.  

The proposed Placer County Sports and Event Center @thegrounds could help raise millions of dollars in spending activity here and in the region. The center would be a major asset for businesses and would also give residents and visitors more quality and family-friendly events to attend.

We hope that residents learn more about the Placer Sports and Event Center proposal at a Sept. 17 public meeting @thegrounds. The center’s success can positively impact all of us.