Brockton Fairgrounds to Be Sold to the City
BROCKTON (WBSM) — The iconic Brockton Fairgrounds are being sold, but it appears that the nearly 66-acre property will be in good hands.
Chris Carney, whose family owns the fairgrounds, posted on social media Wednesday evening that the City of Brockton has entered into an agreement to purchase the property.
“As many of you will find out very shortly, my father and I are happy to announce that we’ve entered an agreement to sell the Brockton Fair to the City of Brockton with the help of the mayor and the city council,” he wrote.
The Brockton Fair began nearly 150 years ago, and had grown to become the signature event of the summer for the region, and had become just as renowned as the city’s two champion boxers.
“To many people, the first three things that come to mind when they think of Brockton are typically Rocky Marciano, Marvin Hagler, and the Brockton Fairgrounds,” Carney wrote.
“The fairgrounds brought the community together for a few days in the summer annually, and to think of all the memories that were made is amazing. The fireworks, the rides, the demolition derbies," he wrote. "I basically grew up there and loved every second I spent there.”
Carney said he believes selling to the City was “the best option for Brockton going forward.”
“We felt that by selling the property to the City of Brockton, we’re giving the City the ability to turn it into something that brings and builds the community up once again,” he wrote.
Carney told WBSM that the two sides have signed a memorandum of understanding but that the deal hasn’t officially gone through yet.
“If the City wants it, they can purchase it, and I hope they do because I think it’s going to be in a good place,” he said. “It comes from a heavy heart, but I think going forward it’s the right thing to do.”
Carney said he thought he “owed it to the City to have a chance to purchase it,” even though it took him a long time to get to the point where he was ready to sell.
The Brockton Fair, which dates all the way back to 1874, has not been held since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the fair for 2020 and 2021, and it was announced it would not return in 2022 because the Carneys had leased out parcels of the land to other businesses during the pandemic as a way to generate some revenue while the fair was unable to take place.
“Most people thought we didn’t pay taxes on the property, but we did,” Carney said.
Carney had also applied for permits to begin dismantling the fair’s iconic grandstand back in April 2022.
Whether or not the City of Brockton decides to bring back the fair somewhere down the line remains to be seen.
“I think it will take a while to get the City to agree on what works best for them but with the lease intact, they will have plenty of time,” Carney said.