Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota Site Announcement

The Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee is thrilled to announce its site partners for Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota: The City of Bloomington and Mall of America. These public-private partners control the land that will serve as the location for Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota, expected to take place May 13 to August 13, 2023 with the theme “Healthy People, Healthy Planet.”

For more information, visit expo2023.info/our-site.  Follow the Bid Committee on Twitter at @expo_2023.


Coordinated by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), large, six-month expos are organized every five years with one smaller, three-month “Specialized Exposition” held in-between. The United States seeks to host the 2023 specialized expo in Minnesota focused on health and wellness. The U.S. bid enjoys strong bipartisan support at the national, state, and local level. In May, President Trump signed legislation authorizing the United States to rejoin the BIE in support of the Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota bid. Citizen groups from across the state and from all corners of the nation have supported this effort to host the first World Expo in the United States in nearly 40 years. Last week, the spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, Heather Nauert, discussed the bid at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, DC (see video). The United States is competing with Poland and Argentina to host the specialized expo. The BIE General Assembly will select the 2023 host city at its November 15th meeting in Paris, France.



KSTP | Bloomington Votes to Purchase City’s Last Large Farm for Potential World’s Fair Use

Star Tribune | Bloomington approves purchase of Kelley farm for possible World Fair site

Pioneer Press | Farm site near Mall of America chosen for Minnesota’s World Expo bid

Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal | Bloomington locks up Kelley Farm to woo World’s Fair — and maybe Amazon

U.S. News | Bloomington OKs Purchase of Farm Site for World Fair Bid

The Seattle Times | Bloomington OKs purchase of farm site for World Fair bid

KARE | Bloomington OKs purchase of farm site for World Fair bid

WCCO | Bloomington OKs Farm Site Purchase For World Fair Bid

Rochester Post Bulletin | Bloomington OKs purchase of farm site for World Fair bid

Mankato Free Press | Bloomington OKs purchse of farm site for World Fair bid

SPNN Forum | Mark Ritchie, EXPO2023 Minnesota World’s Fair Bid 

KNOX-FM | MN World’s Fair

Minnesotan Vera Swanson serves as Student Ambassador to Expo 2017

Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, opened its doors on June 10, 2017 and will close on September 10. The Expo, known as World’s Fairs in the US, has the theme of “Future Energy” and is focused on green technologies, sustainable development and energy for all. Over 100 countries and international organizations have participated and an estimated two million visitors from around the world are expected.

For the past 3 months, college students from around the United States have served as Student Ambassadors for the USA Pavilion at Expo 2017.  In this role, the students serve as culture representatives of the United States and are fluent in English and Russian to better communicate with guests.


Vera Swanson of Rochester, Minnesota, is currently serving as a Student Ambassador to Expo 2017. She had this to say about her experience:

“Being granted the opportunity to represent the United States on a world stage such as the Expo has given me a unique chance to be part of something big that often gets overlooked nowadays.

I have spent the past year studying in Kazakhstan and couldn’t have imagined that this journey would conclude with my participation in the largest international event of 2017.  In one day alone, I can walk over to any pavilion I desire and instantly have access to different countries’ cultures and ideas for the future of energy.

This distinctive concentration of minds and hearts from all corners of the world is truly special and something Minnesota will foster and embrace. Born and raised in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, I can enthusiastically support my home state’s bid to host the 2023 Expo, showcasing both human and environmental wellness through its theme “Healthy People, Healthy Planet.”

I grew up appreciating Minnesota’s natural, simple beauty and have always felt an innate and intimate connection to its lands. The state’s comforting atmosphere encourages positive lifestyles and invites the global community to share and expand its understanding of what it means to have healthy people living on a healthy planet.”

United States’ Expo Bid Named a Finalist

Yesterday in Paris, the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) voted to make the United States a finalist to host a World’s Fair (“Expo”) in 2023. The United States/Minnesota, Argentina/Buenos Aires and Poland/Lodz will continue to promote their respective Expo projects until the 162nd General Assembly of the BIE in November 2017, when Member States of the BIE will vote for the organizing country of Specialized Expo 2022/2023. Should the BIE Member States elect the United States as the host country, Minneapolis, Minnesota will organize a Specialized Expo in 2023 under the theme of “Healthy People, Healthy Planet.”

World’s Fairs bring millions of visitors and generate billions of digital impressions on a global scale. An expected twelve million visitors will attend the three-month Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota, a “Specialized Expo” focusing on the issues of health and wellness.

The overall national economic impact of Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota is estimated to be over USD $4 Billion. As per the United States Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act (H.R. 534), funding for all World’s Fair projects in the US must come from private sources. Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota is expected to generate over 40,000 jobs across the state in support of the event. Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota will place the Twin Cities region, and its seven-county population of 3.5 million, on a global stage, introducing Minnesota to the world.


Click here to read the full release on today’s announcement.

President Donald J. Trump Signs H.R. 534 into Law

The White House Press Office announced today that the President signed into law H.R. 534, the “U.S. Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act.”

Read more: White House Press Office

U.S. Takes Important Step Toward Hosting an Expo in 2023

Today Congress passed the United States Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act (H.R. 534), a measure that formally authorizes the U.S. Secretary of State to take the appropriate measures to ensure that the United States rejoins the Bureau of International Expositions (the official sanctioning body of World’s Fairs or “Expos.”)

When the process of re-joining is completed next week, the United States will have taken a very important step towards hosting its First World’s Fair in over thirty years. Should the Bureau of International Expositions award the right to host the 2023 Expo to the United States it will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, under the theme of “Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Wellness and Well Being for All.” This theme was chosen by the Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee to both 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. Our companies, academic institutions, and research centers are among the top institutions in the world.

The process leading up to the passage of the U.S Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act (H.R. 534) was begun under the Obama Administration and will be concluded by the Trump Administration. The measure enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress and at the local level.

“I was honored to have led these efforts in the House and am proud to have had the support of the entire Minnesota Delegation,” said Tom Emmer(R), Rep. from Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. “Through the passage of this bill we have the ability to join the BIE, bringing Minnesota, and the United States as a whole, one step closer to being able to highlight our innovative spirit and incredible success stories on a global stage. I am pleased our efforts have been successful and thank all the individuals, elected officials and organizations, especially the folks at the Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee, who rallied together to get us closer to making this dream a reality.”

“Minnesota’s health care industry is advanced, global, and innovative – and it deserves the spotlight. Hosting the World Expo will be a remarkable event for our entire state,” said Betty McCollum(D), Rep. from Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District. “I am proud of the bipartisan effort to pass the U.S. Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act. This important legislation levels the playing field and will help Minnesota move forward with its bid to host this incredible global gathering.”

“I congratulate the many Minnesotans who have worked hard on the bid to bring a World’s Fair to our state,” said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. “And I thank our Congressional Delegation for advancing this important legislation. With the President’s approval, this week’s achievement takes Minnesota one step closer to hosting the United States’ first World’s Fair in three decades. Expo 2023 would bring millions of visitors to our state. The Expo would shine a global spotlight on Minnesota’s world-class medical and technology sectors, and greatly benefit our hotel and tourism industries.”

The United States has not been a member of the BIE since 2001, and it has been over thirty years since it last hosted a World’s Fair. Commonly referred to as “Expos,” World’s Fairs are the largest global events in terms of visitors and present an opportunity to showcase US regional cities and industries to a global audience. Joining the BIE is a major step in competing to host the World’s Fair in 2023 and lays the groundwork for other cities in the United States to bid on future World Fairs.

“This is an important day for all of us who have long championed the return of World’s Fairs to the United States,” said Manuel Delgado, Chairman, ExpoUSA. “Being part of the BIE means that cities across America – from Minneapolis in 2023 to San Francisco, Philadelphia, Houston, and many others to come – will be able to host future Expos and enjoy the tremendous cultural, educational and economic benefits of the Fair.”

“This is a big day for the people of Minnesota,” said Marilyn Carlson Nelson, co-Chair of Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee. “We still have our work cut out for us, but rejoining the BIE has brought Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota one step closer to reality. Now is the time for the business community as well as public and civic leaders to come together and make the strongest case possible to ensure that the BIE selects the Twin Cities as the site for the 2023 Expo.”

The broad-based support for the decision to rejoin the BIE underscores the importance of the World’s Fair among US lawmakers and opinion-leaders; the passage of this bill demonstrates the high level of commitment among government and civic leaders to securing the rights to host Expo 2023 in Minnesota, and is a testament to the importance of the BIE and its role in driving global awareness of issues.

“This action taken by Congress is a watershed for us,” said Mark Ritchie, President and CEO, Minnesota’s World’s Fair Bid Committee, and former Minnesota Secretary of State. “Rejoining the Bureau of International Expositions paves the way for us to compete on a level playing field with the bids from Poland and Argentina. Equally important, this also makes it possible for all other cities around the United States to bid to host an Expo in the future.”

With this important hurdle out of the way, the organizing committees behind the Minnesota bid can now fully commit significant effort and resources towards the campaign to win the support of the 168 member nations who belong to the Bureau of International Expositions.

“We are long-time, committed believers in the dream of hosting a global showcase in Minnesota to share its multi-cultural approaches to health promotion, well-being and vitality with our neighbors from around the world. Today we are one step closer to fulfilling that dream,” said Jacob Gayle, Vice President of Global Philanthropy at Medtronic and President of Medtronic Foundation. “Medtronic Foundation stands arm-in-arm with Expo 2023 Minnesota as it gets ready to make the sale of a lifetime to the BIE in June, and make our collective dream a reality. We look forward to helping Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota share with the world the story of Minnesota and its robust medical technology, healthcare, public health and wellness sectors.”

Joining the BIE sets the stage not only for Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota, but for many future World’s Fairs in the United States. Houston, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Los Angeles have all expressed interest in hosting future World’s Fairs – but until now, lack of membership in the BIE was a major obstacle.

World’s Fairs are the world’s largest events measured by attendance and generate digital impressions in the billions on a global scale. An expected twelve million visitors will attend the three-month Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota “Specialized Expo” focusing on the issues of health and wellness.

The overall national economic impact of Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota is estimated to be over USD $4 Billion. As per the United States Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act (H.R. 534), funding for all World’s Fair projects in the US must come from private sources. Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota is expected to generate over 40,000 jobs across the state in support of the event.

Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota will place the Twin Cities region, and its seven county population of 3.5 million, on a global stage, introducing Minnesota to the world. The effort to join the BIE was led by the Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee, headed by co-Chair Marilyn Carlson Nelson, with significant leadership and support from Minnesota Lawmakers from both parties, former Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, CEO of the Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee, the communications firm Tunheim, HGA Architectural Firm, and Dorsey Law.

The planned location of Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota is in a parcel of land adjacent to the University of Minnesota’s main Minneapolis campus. As per the BIE, all Specialized World’s Fair grounds are contained within a roughly 60-acre plot.

Minnesota has a strong connection to the health, wellness, nutrition and medical sciences industries. Nine Fortune 500 companies that operate in the health, nutrition and food, medical technology and wellness sectors are headquartered in Minnesota. In addition to these large publicly-held companies, Cargill, the nutritional giant and the world’s largest privately-held company, is headquartered in the Twin Cities. Minnesota employs over 250,000 workers in the health care sector alone.

About World’s Fairs (“Expos”)

The first “World Fair” was held in London in 1851 and was called the “The Great Exhibition.” Since the 1928 Convention Relating to International Exhibitions came into force, the Bureau International des Expositions (or “BIE”; English: Bureau of International Exhibitions) has served as the official international sanctioning body for all World’s Fairs, also known as “Expos.” There are two primary types of BIE-sanctioned Expos:

  • Universal Expos held every five years (The last universal Expo was held in in Milan in 2015 and attracted more than 23 million visitors; Dubai is slated to host the 2020 Universal World’s Fair.)
  • Falling on the calendar in between Universal Fairs, are the BIE-sanctioned “Specialized Fairs,” which typically have a central theme or topic. Expo Astana 2017 (Kazakhstan) will kick off later this year and is promoting the theme of “Future Energy”. The next Specialized Expo has three competing bids: US/Minnesota (“Healthy People, Healthy Planet”), Poland/Lodz (“City Reinvented”), and Argentina/Buenos Aires (“Science, Innovation, Art and Creativity”)

The United States had not been an official member of the BIE since 2001. The last World’s Fair held in the United States was in 1984.

National Trust Article on 5 innovations from the 1933 Exhibition ‘House of Tomorrow’

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a great article and some interesting photos showcasing five innovations demonstrated in the ‘House of Tomorrow at the 1933 Century of Progress International Exposition in Chicago.

Things like the attached garage, dishwasher, iceless refrigerator and even the concept of an open floor plan in a residential house were shown to the public first at the expo.

From the article…

“The fair served as an introduction to modern design for many, and nothing made more of an impression than George Fred Keck’s House of Tomorrow.

Then considered a futuristic model home, more than one million people took a tour at the fair. But Keck’s house remains noteworthy for the innovations that reached the mainstream not long after.”

Read the whole article

The U.S. House voted Tuesday to give the U.S. Secretary of State the authority to rejoin the BIE

From Minnesota Public Radio…

The U.S. House voted Tuesday to clear a potential obstacle to Minnesota’s bid to host Expo 2023, also known as the World’s Fair.

Legislation sponsored by the full Minnesota delegation was approved on a voice vote. It gives the U.S. Secretary of State the authority to rejoin the Bureau of International Expositions.

Read the full article on MPR

Presidential Support for World Expos

Presidential Memoranda -- Minnesota World's Fair 2023

Minnesota is a great choice for Expo 2023 / Star Tribune

These are important days for Minnesota’s bid to host Expo 2023 — a three-month World’s Fair — six years hence. Since Sunday, a delegation from the Paris-based Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) has been in the Twin Cities, meeting corporate and civic leaders, exploring the proposed Expo site near TCF Bank Stadium, and evaluating the appeal of the theme, “Wellness and Well-Being for All: Healthy People, Healthy Planet.”

Permit us to echo what the BIE representatives from eight countries undoubtedly have heard repeatedly since they arrived: Minnesota would be an excellent choice for Expo 2023. It has everything that BIE Secretary General Vicente G. Loscertales said the bureau is seeking: an attractive and technically feasible location, ample infrastructure, an enthusiastically welcoming spirit and a theme that promises to be both appealing to visitors and “inducive to dialogue for the international community.”

Expo 2023 would offer a collection of local and international exhibits and activities that showcase innovation in efforts to improve human health. It is expected to draw 150,000 visitors per day for three months.

For more than three years, a first-rate local team has been preparing a bid and recruiting allies both locally and in Washington, D.C. Their work has yielded considerable private support and bipartisan backing in the seats of government. (No request is anticipated for taxpayer funds.)

In December, the bid won the blessing of the Obama administration, making it officially the U.S. bid. To give it a chance against competing proposals from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Lodz, Poland, Congress now must allow the United States to renew its BIE membership, which lapsed 16 years ago. Private donors are prepared to cover the membership fee, provided Congress gives the green light. It should act soon, well in advance of the formal presentation of Minnesota’s proposal to the 168-nation BIE General Assembly set for June 14. A final selection is expected in November.

On Wednesday, the BIE site review panel heads to Washington, where its presence will help the members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation press the case for renewing U.S. membership. The Texas congressional delegation is lending assistance, since Houston is preparing a bid to host a six-month World’s Fair in coming years.

We hope the BIE group hears assurances in Washington about the membership question and one thing more — America’s commitment to hospitality to foreign visitors. The Trump administration’s efforts to impose a temporary travel ban on some nations — thus far stymied by the courts — are not helpful to Minnesota’s Expo bid. If those efforts persist, they may speak louder to the BIE than verbal assurances of support from the Trump administration.

Minnesota’s planning team, headed by former Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, was delighted when in his Feb. 28 address to Congress, President Trump mentioned the importance of the first World’s Fair hosted by the United States. That 1876 assembly in Philadelphia showcased inventions including the telephone, typewriter and electric light bulb. “Imagine the wonders our country could know in America’s 250th year,” the president said. Imagine the good that can be derived from sharing some of those wonders with the world in the “Healthy State” of Minnesota.

Read more at StarTribune.com

Four Countries Including United States Submit Bids to BIE to Hold Specialised Expo in 2022 or 2023

our countries have submitted competing bids to organize Specialised Expo 2022/23: the Republic of Poland, the United States of America, the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Republic of Argentina. The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) has now closed the candidature.

The 169 Member States of the BIE will elect the host country of Specialised Expo 2022/23 at the 162nd General Assembly in November 2017.

Poland’s bid is for a Specialised Expo in the city of Łódź between 15 June and 15 September 2022 under the theme “City Re:Invented.”

The United States’ bid is for a Specialised Expo in Minneapolis (pictured above) between 15 May and 15 August 2023 under the theme “Wellness and Well Being for All: Healthy People, Healthy Planet.” The United States is not a Member State of the BIE.*

Brazil’s bid is for a Specialised Expo in Rio de Janeiro between 4 March and 27 May 2022 under the theme “Metropolitan Cities and Sustainability: Cross Border Potentials.”

Argentina’s bid is for a Specialised Expo in Buenos Aires between 15 January and 15 April 2023 under the theme “Science, Innovation, Art and Creativity for the Human Development.”

The Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, stated that “these four candidatures demonstrate a high level of interest for this type of Expo.” The project examination phase for Specialised Expo 2022/23 will take place over the next few months. Each candidate will submit a bid dossier, to be followed by a BIE Enquiry Mission. The projects will then be presented to the General Assembly of the BIE on 14 June 2017. The election of the host country by the 169 Member States of the BIE will take place at the subsequent General Assembly in November 2017.

Read more on InPark Magazine