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Minnesota State Fair's Economic Impact in Twin Cities: $268 million in 2018
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St. Paul, Minn. – The year-round operations of the 2018 Minnesota State Fair generated $268 million in economic impact for the Twin Cities, plus additional unmeasured impact throughout the Midwest. The economic impact study, conducted by Markin Consulting of Maple Grove, Minn., shows that the State Fair supports more than 12,000 full-time, seasonal and part-time jobs with $76.9 million in direct earnings for Twin Cities residents. In addition, the State Fair’s annual operation generates $9.9 million in state and local taxes.

The economic impact study was produced using data from the State Fair’s 2018 operations (fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2018) of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, the governing body of the State Fair. The Society is responsible for the production of the annual State Fair, year-round activities and upkeep of the 322-acre State Fairgrounds. The 2018 State Fair attracted a record 2 million visitors during its 12-day run, plus the fairgrounds hosted a busy schedule of 150 non-fair events throughout the year.

“By far, the State Fair’s most important impact is social,” said Jerry Hammer, general manager of the State Fair. “It’s where everyone feels welcome and where we celebrate the very best of each other. But every now and then, it’s also a good idea to take a look at the State Fair's economic impact.

“It’s important to remember that this study focuses only on the Twin Cities,” Hammer added. “There’s additional unmeasured impact throughout Minnesota and in neighboring states. And every Minnesotan can be proud that our fair receives no government funding.” 
 

Following are details of the study:


$268 million in economic benefit

The Minnesota State Agricultural Society generates economic impact from three distinct sources:

  • Operating revenues and resulting local expenditures of the 12-day Minnesota State Fair = $127 million

  • Activities and expenditures of concessionaires, ride & game operators, commercial exhibitors and livestock and horse show exhibitors at the annual Minnesota State Fair = $105 million

  • Activities and expenditures of promoters, participants and exhibitors of non-fair events held at the State Fairgrounds throughout the year = $36 million


$76.9 million in wages and 12,390 jobs

Of the $268 million in total economic benefit to the Twin Cities area, $76.9 million represents wage earnings paid to Twin Cities employees directly, as well as through local businesses and their employees in support of State Fair activities and its users. This supported 12,390 full-time, seasonal and part-time jobs.

 
$9.9 million in tax revenue

Operations of the State Fair and the fairgrounds, as well as events held at the fairgrounds, generated state and local sales taxes and fuel and lodging taxes of $9.9 million.

These details can also be found at the following link: https://www.mnstatefair.org/about-the-fair/

Overview and history of the Minnesota State Fair: What began in 1854 as a territorial fair to highlight agriculture and encourage farming in the region became the Minnesota State Fair in 1859, a year after Minnesota was granted statehood. Today, often referred to as the “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” the annual Minnesota State Fair is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The fair attracts more than 2 million guests annually. This end-of-summer tradition is always held the 12 days leading up to and through Labor Day.

The Minnesota State Fair is a quasi-state agency that is completely self-supporting. The fair has not received any public money or government appropriations of any kind since 1949. The fair is governed by the Minnesota State Agricultural Society. Society delegates represent all 87 county fairs in Minnesota, along with more than 40 statewide agriculture and industry groups. A 10-member board of managers is elected annually from the delegates to set policy and provide oversight for the fair. Nine members represent the Society’s nine regional districts, and the 10th (the president) serves at large. The executive vice president serves as the fair’s general manager.

The Society finances the annual production of the fair and is responsible for all capital work and maintenance of the fairgrounds, classified as state property. The fair’s income comes from ticket sales, licensing of commercial exhibit space, the rental of fair facilities for non-fair events, and other areas. Expenses include extensive services for fair guests such as Park & Ride buses, sanitation, police protection, and free stage entertainment, as well as fairgrounds operations and administration. In addition, in a typical year, the Society will invest anywhere between $6 million and $20 million in improvements and maintenance to the State Fairgrounds.

Visit mnstatefair.org for more information. The 2019 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 22 - Labor Day,  Sept. 2.
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