On the first day of the Orange County 2010 event, Barrett-Jackson seemed to be too big for its new venue, Jackson said.
The auction was using the newly opened Hangar, a building reminiscent of an airplane hangar and gymnasium. The Hangar's doors were opened to an extension tent that overflowed outside.
The fairgrounds people have "been great to work with, but the problem is we outgrew the Hangar the first year," Jackson said.
Then, finding that rental tent too small, Barrett-Jackson officials decided to use their own "tent" — one that was 200 feet wide, 63 feet high and some 200 yards long. The facility, which housed the cars up for auction, was used in 2011 and 2012 on the fairgrounds' parking lot.
But setting up, maintaining and transporting that tent from its storage place in Arizona was costly, as were aspects like air conditioning, heating and lighting, Jackson said. It all cut into the bottom line. There were some tensions with the fire marshal.
Jackson said he had hoped the 2013 setup could be like the first year and utilize a rented tent that overflowed from the Hangar into what's now called the Main Mall section of the fairgrounds.
But fair officials didn't seem keen on allowing a sufficient tent, which would need anchoring holes drilled on the now-stylized concrete of the Main Mall, Jackson said.
A tent larger than the 2010 one, pending the fire marshal's approval, may have been possible after exploring other anchoring options, Hoban said.
"It's certainly not a non starter," he said.
Jackson said he didn't want the fourth Orange County event to be downgraded from its previous years.
"Either we do it our way, Barrett-Jackson-style, or we don't do it," he said.