MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota is a finalist for the World Fair Expo, but it has not been determined if the state will host the event. That hasn’t stopped the committee from spending money as if they have secured the event already.
On Wednesday, the Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee announced the purchase of land in Bloomington, Minnesota that will serve as the location for the fair should Minnesota be chosen.
Bloomington’s City Council in a joint meeting with the Bloomington Port Authority approved the $32.3 million purchase of Kelley Farm – 62 acres of farmland located near the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and the Mall of America.
According to meeting documents, the city is also in talks with the Mall of America to use adjacent lands to broaden the scope of the fair.
Minnesota is looking to host what is considered the “smaller fair,” which lasts for three months. Meeting documents explain bigger world fairs occur in years that are divisible by five. A big fair, as hosted in Milan, Italy in 2015, was held for six months on 271 acres of land. The smaller fair that Minnesota seeks to host cannot be larger than 62 acres.
Organizers tell the Star Tribune the fair could have a $4 billion impact on the state’s economy with an estimated attendance of more than 150,000 people per day.
The 2017 World Fair Expo in Astana, Kazakhstan is estimated to have had 3 million to 4 million people in attendance over its three month period – or approximately 44,000 people a day.
Minnesota’s bid, led by former Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, is leading the United States delegation with the theme “Healthy People, Healthy Planet.”
According to the website, the theme was chosen to “highlight the importance of health and medicine at a global level and to spotlight Minnesota’s unique position as one of the world’s most important centers of excellence and innovation in health, healing, medical sciences and the promotion of wellness. Its companies, academic institutions and research centers are among the top institutions in the world.”
If chosen, Minneapolis will become the first city in the United States to host the World’s Fair Expo since New Orleans in 1984, which had approximately 7.3 million visitors over a six month period.