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Fairgrounds key to FIU expansion plans


Gaining access to the fairgrounds adjacent to the Modesto A. Maidique Campus continues to be a top priority for FIU. While the Miami-Dade Fair and Exposition was in session over the last three weeks, the effort attracted increased attention from the media and the public.

In fact, The Miami Herald’s opinion editors conducted an unscientific poll that resulted in 77 percent of participants supporting relocating the Fair so that FIU can expand into the 86 acres currently occupied by fairgrounds.

Here are some key facts about the effort to find a new suitable site for the fair:

  • FIU, Fair and Miami-Dade County officials have been meeting for four years about identifying a suitable site to relocate the Fair. They have analyzed 24 sites all over Miami-Dade County. Currently Tropical Park is under consideration.
  • The Fair, a non-profit organization, has a 99 year lease with Miami-Dade County, which owns the land.
  • FIU is looking to expand into the fairgrounds, not into Tamiami Park, which is right next door to the Fair. The park will not be impacted by this initiative.
  • MMC is the smallest main campus of the 12 state universities in Florida and has the highest classroom utilization rate in the system. FIU needs the additional space to continue to serve the needs of the South Florida community.
  • The additional land will house research buildings and other spaces that will help to foster entrepreneurship opportunities and serve as a solutions center.
  • FIU is working with Legislators to find state funding to help finance the Fair’s move.
  • FIU’s expansion is estimated to bring an investment of $900 million in construction – with an impact of $1.8 billion – and in the long term create thousands of jobs and nurture entrepreneurship.
  • The annual recurring economic impact of the expansion is estimated at $541 million.

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Questions and ideas about the Fair relocation initiative should be sent to extrel@fiu.edu.