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Expo 2050 Master Plan


During the 2022 calendar year, the Ohio Expositions Commission embarked on a Master Planning process, in partnership with the Expo 2050 Task Force, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, and a team of renowned third-party consultants with experience in the fair, convention, and livestock facility industries.

Long-Term, Phased Approach

Over many years in the future, the full scope of the Master Plan would modernize the facility with renovation or demolition of several buildings. By taking a phased approach that will make impactful changes with projected completion in 2026, our goal is that the many other elements of the long-range Master Plan can still happen in the years to come. Longer-ranging projects include new youth buildings; a transit hub; a complex for maintenance, storage, and operations; renovations to historic buildings; and more.

Upcoming Improvements in Phase 1

Thanks to the generous support of the General Assembly, the first phase of exciting renovations to the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair will begin fall 2023! The renovations will include a new entry gate, new and renovated buildings, an improved navigational experience, and vital unseen underground infrastructure improvements. Priorities include the five projects listed below.

*Note: the images below are conceptual designs only and are not necessarily reflective of the final designs

Town Square

A new open space we’re referring to as the “Town Square” is a blank canvas in the center of the grounds to be used by non-fair events to best accommodate their unique needs and impove flow. During the Ohio State Fair, the “Town Square” will feature additional food, family-friendly resting areas, and children's activities. Located just outside the entrance to the Natural Resources Park, it will highlight the core Fair foundations of agriculture and natural resources, within a modern, fun, and intentional setting that will be one of the "go-to" destinations of the Fair moving forward.
Completion: 2026

Multi-Purpose Agricultural Education Facility

This innovative agricultural education building features built-in kitchens, dining space, meeting rooms, and more than 100,000 square feet of multi-use convention space. During the Ohio State Fair, this building will combine functions of the Taste of Ohio Café and the Agriculture & Horticulture Building in partnership with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups. At more than 200,000 square feet of temperature-controlled space, it also creates new space for year-round event rentals.
Completion: 2026

Ohio Showcase

This dual-purpose building will feature an exhibit telling Ohio’s story in conjunction with the Ohio History Connection, and a food hall with multi-purpose dining and event space and incubator kitchens. The focal point of the building will be a glass “jewel box” featuring large historic artifacts, such as an airplane. The building will anchor the center of the grounds near the new open “Town Square” gathering space and will feature additional comfort seating and shade for fairgoers and guests.
Completion: 2026

Entry Gate (north)

Ohio Showcase Building Rendering
A new, iconic state-of-the-art entry gate to replace the aging lackluster gate between the main parking lots near Historic Crew Stadium and the giant red cardinal on the north side of the grounds. About 80% of fairgoers enter through this gate right now, and an upgrade will make a lasting first impression. The historic gate spelling out OHIO along 11th Avenue will remain as-is.
Completion: 2025

Navigational Path and Underground Infrastructure

Navigational Path Rendering
The project will include vital underground infrastructure work to improve utilities and create more flexible outdoor opportunities. In addition, a defined navigational pathway through the grounds, with a different material that will help with overall flow through the facility, will direct visitors toward the new buildings described above, the new Town Square, and Natural Resources Park.
Completion: 2026
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