State Fair of Virginia sold for $5.67 million

Posted at 2:48 PM, May 22, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-22 17:01:12-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The State Fair of Virginia was sold at an auction for $5.35 million plus a six percent commission. 

It has been purchased by Mark Lovell from Memphis, Tenn.

Lovell is the CEO of Universal Fairs, who recently also acquired the Georgia State Fair.

Lovell purchased the property for a grand total of $5.67 million, at Motley’s Auction & Realty Group.

“I was hoping to go for much less,” said Lovell. “But it’s a beautiful piece of property.”

Included in the purchase is the rights to the State Fair of Virginia name and website.

The closing date for the sale is July 6.  A $250,000 deposit was due today.

An agreement was reached on Monday to allow sale of the State Fair of Virginia and the Meadow Event Park in Caroline County—both physical and intellectual property—as one.

In a phone interview last month about the possibility of bringing a fair to Richmond, Lovell said he was excited.

He exuded that same enthusiasm today, and said they would like to host all games and major events previously hosted at the Meadow Event Park. He doesn’t envision any major differences in the fair, which will run Sept. 28-Oct. 7.

“Virginia already had a great fair…so we’re gonna keep it up,” said Lovell. “Our focus is this; to provide a clean, safe, family friendly event.”

“I think it’s a perfect fairground,” said Lovell, and he added that “I think this is a beautiful piece of property to put on a music festival.”

They would like to host all games and major events previously hosted at the Meadow Event Park; like the State Fair of Virginia, Strawberry Hill Races, Meadow Highland Games, and Celtic Festival.

This years races are already booked at Colonial Downs, but he said “…we would like to get that back if we can.”

Lovell gave a nod to the birthplace of Secretariat and said they would like” to maintain the history,” of the grounds.  “We think that we will do a great job and that the fair will excel and people will come out and enjoy themselves.”

“Of course the state fair will be the staple,” said Lovell, but per weddings and private events he said, “We’re back open for business.”

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