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Lawmakers want to bring the World's Fair to Minnesota


Some lawmakers are trying to bring the World's Fair to Minnesota in 2023.

What exactly is the World's Fair?

Well, it's a fair that happens in a specific part of the world and shows off what's so great about that area.

So imagine the State Fair, but bigger and much more complex.

World's Fairs are run by a group called the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) which is based in Paris.

According to the fair's website, the BIE controls when, where and how often the expos take place. They're usually held once every five years, but they can and have happened more often. It's all up to the BIE.

Since the fairs aren't annual and can only be held in one place at a time, it's pretty special to be the chosen location of one.

The latest one was held last year in Milan, and Dubai is registered for 2020's fair. The website says Astana, Kazakhstan has been approved for 2017, though.

Why Minnesota?

The idea of having the 2023 World's Fair in Minnesota has been floating around for years.

Former Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie leads the campaign for EXPO 2023.

And this week, the Forum says, several Minnesota lawmakers – including Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken – signed a letter urging Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to support Minnesota as home to the 2023 World Fair.

According to the letter, Minnesota's theme would be “Wellness and Well-Being for All” and the fair would "highlight Minnesota’s many accomplishments in promoting health and wellness."

It goes on to say hosting the fair in the U.S. will strengthen the country's economic leadership. It hasn't been held in the U.S. since 1984.

More specifically, the letter says it should be held in Minnesota because of the state's "welcoming community and an innovative economy."

"History of innovation," and Minnesota's Fortune 500 companies are also listed as reasons the World's Fair should be hosted here.

"Minnesota’s Expo 2023 is a strong candidate to host the World’s Fair. It will foster an exchange of ideas, encourage new global partnerships and advance innovation in health and wellness that will benefit the state, country and world," the letter says.

Reps. Collin Peterson, Betty McCollum, John Kline, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz, Rick Nolan, Erik Paulsen, and Tom Emmer also signed it.

What would a World's Fair here look like?

According to the Star Tribune, the event would potentially be held in Minneapolis – east of TCF Bank Stadium, near the Prospect Park Green Line station.

It would take up about 62 acres of land and draw an estimated 10 million to 15 million visitors.

Finance & Commerce reported in 2014 it'd mean about 150,000 visitors a day, which is comparable to the crowds at the Mall of America or the State Fair.

That would go on for three months.

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