Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Reaches Accord with Neighbors


Contact: Steve Stagnaro
Direct Line 408-354-5145

February 25, 2014

Watsonville, CA – The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds and their neighbors - represented by CAFA, the Community Alliance for Fairgrounds Accountability, have a reason to smile with the announcement that an agreement which reduces noise impacts generated by Ocean Speedway has been reached.

Fairgrounds manager David Kegebein explained “Over the last few years we have spent more than one year’s speedway rental income on legal fees.  We need to have and support a broad range of recreational and educational activities on the grounds however we can’t let one activity drive the Fairgrounds into financial ruin.  This agreement is welcome news for us all.”

Kegebein added “In January 2012 the volunteer management team and fair board made a commitment to be good neighbors and honestly analyze CAFA’s concerns.  Through this agreement we have seriously reduced auto racing’s impact on the neighborhood.”  The high points of the agreement include a reduced racing schedule, no racing on holiday weekends, a reduction in the sound level produced during races, and phased in moving of the curfew time up from the current 11:00 PM to 10:00 PM over the next two years.

In addition a commitment has been made to continue researching opportunities to reduce noise produced by auto racing.  To further that goal a design competition for sound reducing technologies such as improved mufflers has been announced.  CAFA and Ocean Speedway are each putting up $25,000 so that a $50,000 prize is available to be awarded to the first person, company or entity that develops a cutting edge sound reduction system such as a quieter muffler.

Kegebein further stated “now the real work starts.  If the auto racing community desires to continue racing in communities such as Watsonville where people live near race tracks they will need to seriously research, experiment, and implement ways to reduce their impact on the facilities & neighborhoods.”

The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds hosts a large number of community events highlighted by the annual County Fair.  Information on the Fair, and the Fairgrounds - a year round entertainment and event venue, can be found at

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