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7 bids received for Orange County Fairgrounds

January 11, 2010 |  5:48 pm

The state of California has received seven bids for the Orange County Fairgrounds, which officials are auctioning off this week to try to help close the state's budget deficit.

The deadline for bidding on the property was today at 5 p.m., said Eric Lamoureux, a spokesman for the state Department of General Services. He said each of the seven bidders have paid the required $50,000 deposit.

The bids will be unsealed at a public auction at the Costa Mesa property Thursday at 10 a.m. Offers can be increased until a high bidder is determined.

The city of Costa Mesa and the county of Orange confirmed that they submitted a joint bid for the 150-acre property.

Local politicians, activists and Assembly members have opposed the sale, fearing it could lead to the private development of a community asset, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said it is necessary to liquidate the fairgrounds and other state properties -- including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, San Quentin State Prison and three state-owned fairgrounds -- to raise cash to help balance the state budget.

Opponents of the sale plan to deliver wheelbarrows full of petitions with 50,000 signatures to the governor's office Tuesday morning.

Public seating is limited for Thursday's auction, but it will be broadcast online at www.dgs.ca.gov/webcast.

-- Tony Barboza in Orange County