ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota wants to be the first American host of the World's Fair since New Orleans in 1984. The official structure of the Minnesota World's Fair Bid Committee was announced Friday in St. Paul.
The co-chairs of the committee are Marilyn Carlson Nelson, former Carlson Companies Chair and Lois Quam, former United Health executive. The CEO and Director of the Committee is Mark Ritchie, former Minnesota Secretary of State.
"I think it was our choice of the theme "Healthy People, Healthy Planet", Health and wellness overall, that has really galvanized our community," said Ritchie. "We do think of ourselves and we are the center of the universe whether it's come to wellness or fitness or biking or Mayo or all those different components, Medtronic and medical devices."
"Obviously, I am very excited about the Superbowl, but I am excited about the Club of Madrid which is coming in 2015, the Rider Cup is coming 2016, Superbowl in '18, The Final Four in '19," said Nelson. "and then this is going to be such a nice complement for that."
"This is an event, the World's Fair, for the whole state," said Quam. "From Hallock to Pipestone, from Rochester to Duluth. It is an event that will encompass all of us in Minnesota. We have something very special here and the World's Fair in 2023 allows us to showcase this for the world."
Ritchie explained that Expo 2023 will be the smaller version of a World exhibition.
"World's fairs come in two sizes," said Ritchie. "The really giant ones happen on the 'zero' years and the 'five' years. We're going for 2023, which is the three month, 62 acre version, and there are many excellent 62 acre sites that we are exploring in the Twin cities area."
Ritchie said Minnesota has the know-how to run a fair with no public (government) funding and no loss on the end result.
"Our goal is not turning a profit one way or another, but it is not losing money," said Ritchie. "Essentially, it will be a large pavilion, about 60 acres, and inside, divisions so that countries, companies, organizations could have different spaces."
Ritchie said the committee's estimates are based on attracting 12 million visitors from May to August, 2023 at $20 per day admission. The decision on Minnesota's bid is to be made in 2016.