On a visit to the Shanghai World’s Fair, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed the abandoned Naval Air Station* at Moffett Field as the ideal site for the 2020 Expo. Situating the event in the heart of Silicon Valley would showcase the importance of scientific innovation and technology to the modern world, Schwarzenegger told his hosts at the International Bureau of Exhibitions (IBE). Most of all though, “I want the world to come to California,” he said. The IBE is expected to make a final decision about the location of the 2020 Expo in late 2012.

If Shanghai is any indicator, some 600,000 visitors from around the world would stream to the site every day for six months, for a total of 70 million guests. This would provide a major boost to the economy, with lasting ramifications. The design and construction of an international Expo would create thousands of jobs, and provide the impetus to improve local infrastructures, including transportation.

At least one major building in the Expo is already up. Over the past year, there has been some discussion about what to do with Hangar One, the 1,100 foot long, 200 foot high iconic structure at the center of the site. Building an Expo around Hangar One could well provide the momentum to restore the building and convert it into something practical.

The Bay Area Council, which first suggested the idea to Schwarzenegger, is especially enthusiastic about the possibilities that would be opened up by hosting such an event. “Perhaps we could even create a Silicon Valley campus for the University of California, for free!” wrote Council President Jim Wunderman in an editorial in the Merc. Wunderman calls the World Fair, “the Olympic Games of the economic, scientific and industrial world,” and points out that everything that was built on the site could later be used for multiple purposes in addition to the proposed university. Mountain View Vice Mayor Jac Siegel went so far as to call a local World’s Fair, “the city’s economic stimulus package,” echoing a description of the Shanghai Expo.
Read More at KLIV.
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Read More at the Mercury News.
Read More at NBC Bay Area.

*Corrected from original post.