July 24, 2014|
President & CEO
Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition Inc.
10901 Coral Way
Miami FL 33165
Dear Friends of The Youth Fair,
Miami-Dade County Commissioners last week instructed the County mayor to provide referendum language that would allow Florida International University to take over The Youth Fair’s home at Tamiami Park.
In doing so, the commission supported FIU’s expansion plans to build not
just classrooms and lab space but commercial office space on public
property that could house for-profit research companies.
The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition has no need or desire
to relocate. As a matter of fact, the Youth Fair is more popular than
In response to a 22 percent increase in attendance and positive feedback
from our guests, local businesses and educational and agricultural
partners, the board of directors voted unanimously to extend the run
time of The Youth Fair for the first time in more than three decades by
adding a fourth weekend to the 2015 Youth Fair calendar.
The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition operates The Youth
Fair and hosts 60-70 other events each year on an 86-acre site under a
99-year lease with Miami-Dade County. Under our lease, the Miami-Dade
County Youth Fair & Exposition has the right to accept or reject an
alternative site based on the best interests of our charitable purpose
and of the people we serve, and the County is responsible for all costs
Current appraisals show the total cost to taxpayers to relocate The Youth Fair could surpass $250 million.
The state university faces numerous obstacles before it could expand onto our fairgrounds:
- The county hasn’t identified a new home for The Youth Fair
- FIU lacks the money needed to relocate The Youth Fair
- The county will not spend a dime of Miami-Dade taxpayers’ money to relocate The Youth Fair
- Voters need to approve private use of public land that includes commercial purposes.
I encourage you to write to your Miami-Dade County commissioner, to Adam Putnam, commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and to the editor of the The Miami Herald,
making it clear The Youth Fair
has legal rights and that FIU’s plans could turn public park land into
private for-profit development. Please include your name, address and
phone number for your letters to be eligible for publication.
Please do not hesitate to forward my email to your family, friends,
neighbors and co-workers and seek their support on our behalf as well.
The Youth Fair and the children it supports sincerely appreciate your help.