MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Another major event could be coming to Minnesota.

A committee announced a bid Monday morning to bring the World’s Fair to the state in 2023. Minnesota would be the first state to host the event in the United States since 1984.

The World’s Fair has been highlighting innovation for more than 150 years.

“It’s kind of a wonder about what’s possible in the future,” Michael Langley of Greater MSP said at a press conference Monday.

Minnesota’s World’s Fair Bid Committee will center their pitch to bring the fair to Minnesota on the theme, “Healthy people, healthy planet: wellness and well-being for all.”

“It’s something the world needs to see,” Committee Member Lois Quam said.

The state would also likely gain a new landmark to commemorate the fair, which is tradition — Seattle built the Space Needle when it hosted the World’s Fair in 1962.

“There will be a structure that will be used by somebody who will appreciate that legacy over time,” Committee Director Mark Ritchie said.

Minnesota already has an impressive line up of events in coming years, including the Ryder Cup, the Super Bowl and the Final Four.
Hosting the World’s Fair in 2023 would bring roughly 10 to 15 million people to the state over 3 months.

“It really just underscores that this will be an economic gain for our community as well,” said Marilyn Carlson Nelson, the committee’s Co-Chair.

Beyond the immediate economic impact of bringing in visitors from roughly 100 countries, the bidding committee hopes the World’s Fair would put Minnesota on the global map for years to come.

“Thinking about making Minnesota a place our kids and grandkids want to be and the world wants to come visit,” Ritchie said.

The bid itself will cost $1.5 million dollars — all privately funded. The committee said they do not expect the state or federal government would be responsible for any costs of the fair.

As far as where in Minnesota the event would be hosted — that part is still up for grabs.

There are actually 2 kinds of World’s Fairs — Minnesota would host the smaller of the two, which requires 62 acres to host the event.

The bidding committee said they’re open to many options. They think it will be in the Twin Cities but Rochester was also thrown out as a possibility so anything is fair game.

Kate Raddatz

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