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fairgrounds

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University professors and neighborhood volunteers have come up with a design for a major overhaul of the old Saginaw County fairgrounds. 

The 54-acre site on Saginaw’s south side have sat decaying for more than a decade.

Warren Rauhe is with the Michigan State University School of Planning, Design and Construction. He says it may not look like it, but the fairgrounds site is a “gem.”

Michigan’s state fair had a very long run. It was first held in 1849, making it the second oldest state fair in the country.

But the event lost money most years after 1970.

The 2008 fair ended with a deficit of $362,000.00.

Attendance dropped 39% over the final eight years of the Fair’s existence.

In 2009, Governor Jennifer Granholm ended all state funding for the fair, and it closed.

On Monday, Governor Snyder will sign bills which will authorize the state to sell the property.

The 157 acre property is located just east of Woodward Avenue, close to 8 Mile.

Any money made from the sale of the Fairgrounds will be added to the state’s general fund.