Utah State Fair

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The long term future of the Utah State Fair has been in question for years, but it will likely be decided in a matter of months. Members of the Fairpark board presented their business plan to a group of state lawmakers last week.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah State Fair opened its gates Thursday for another ten days of fried dough, ponies, and Ferris wheel rides, but the future of the Fairpark is uncertain.

Utah State Fairpark

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story erroneously reported that the State Fair Corporation did not receive any state subsidies. In fact, the corporation received its usual annual appropriation of $675,00 plus an additional $600,000. The legislature decided last year to stop the automatic annual appropriation. Now, Fairpark officials must ask for it each year. The story has been updated.  We regret the error.

The future of the troubled Utah State Fairpark will likely be decided this legislative session. On Friday, lawmakers discussed a proposal to build a new $23 million soccer stadium there.

Utah State Fairpark

Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen has come to an agreement with the Utah State Fair Corporation to construct a new 8 thousand seat multi-use stadium.

Taylor Hayes

The Utah State Fair Board of Directors met this afternoon with Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen to consider his proposal to build a new minor-league soccer stadium at the Fairpark.  Hansen says the plan could save the fair, which is struggling financially.

Courtesy: / CRSA Architects


Attendance keeps declining at the State Fair Park in Salt Lake City -- at least partly because the grounds are so run down, and lawmakers are grappling with what to do next.

Around the country, attendance has trended up at state fairs, but that’s not been the case in Utah. About 20 percent fewer people visited last year than just five years earlier.

The Utah State Fair is underperforming according to a new report by the Office of the Utah State AuditorThe limited performance audit compared the Utah State Fair with several other state fairs around the country.  It specifically focused on similar fairs held in Arizona, Idaho, and New Mexico. David Pulsipher is the performance audit director.