Lancaster County Ag Society only receives approximately $150,000 in property tax support annually for maintenance of the county fairgrounds which receives heavy use each year from 300 events while bringing up to $70 million in incremental spending from out-of-county/state visitors.
The county fairgrounds is currently completing fundraising for a $10 million infrastructure modernization it hopes to kick off in the fall of 2023. Visitor amenities high on the list to be improved include lighting, digital signage, restrooms, kitchen capacity, flooring, drainage, driveway capacity and parking lots.
For over 22 years and counting, the SGEC Fairgrounds has grown to be nationally recognized and is now Nebraska’s busiest and fastest-growing fairgrounds.
The Lancaster County Board, a separate county-level political subdivision, partnered with the Lancaster County Ag Society to form the Lancaster County Fairgrounds JPA to issue bonds to build and remodel the Lancaster Event Center Fairgrounds over phases since 2001. Most recently, the County Board, with recommendations from its Visitors Promotion Committee (VPC), has been a principal partner in ongoing improvements of LEC Fairgrounds through ongoing visitor lodging tax grants to attract out-of-county/state visitors like the National High School Finals Rodeo and Family Motor Coach Association—two international events booked in the first 45 days after opening of the latest grounds improvements (expanded Outdoor Grandstand Arena, new National Event Campground) funded by two generous VPC grants.