With concern rising that a private entity may attempt to purchase the Orange County Fairgrounds for development purposes, public officials are hurrying to put together bids of their own for the 150-acre site just west of the Costa Mesa Freeway.

The state put the Costa Mesa property up for sale in October to help cover the state budget deficit. Bids are due January 8. In late November, the Orange County Board of Supervisors reversed itself and urged Gov. Schwarzenegger to cancel the sale. But the county is also working with the City of Costa Mesa on a potential joint bid to acquire the property to perpetuate public uses.

In addition, the 32nd Agricultural District Board of Directors has formed a new nonprofit entity, called the Orange County Fair and Event Center Foundation, to submit its own bid for the property.