The 2020 World's Fair of Money®, slated to take place Aug. 4-8 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is suspended, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) announced Wednesday, June 17.
The decision comes on the heels of extensive research, discussion, and deliberation, by the ANA Board of Governors, about the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the show and the safety of attendees. Presently, the ANA Board of Governors is considering alternate sites and dates to host the five-day World's Fair of Money.
According to Jennifer Ackerman, ANA conventions director, because of Pennsylvania's current restrictions on indoor gatherings (maximum of 250 people at any one time), "none of the usual World's Fair of Money offerings would be possible at the Pittsburgh show. No exhibits, no educational programming, no Kids Zone, no club meetings, no banquet, and a significantly reduced bourse."
Ackerman added, "Our team has been in nearly daily conversations with the convention center, but it's become evident that they are unable to fulfill their contractual obligations."
The World's Fair of Money typically attracts upward of 10,000 people during the five-day event, including many people traveling to the United States from foreign countries. Since 1891, there have been only two cancelations of the American Numismatic Association's convention; in 1918 during the flu pandemic and in 1945, amidst World War II.
"The decision to postpone the World's Fair of Money was very emotional and extremely difficult," said ANA President Steve Ellsworth. "The convention staff and the Pittsburgh organizing committee worked hard to make the show a reality. PAN went beyond all expectations to deliver what would have been a fantastic event, and I'm deeply disappointed that the collecting community won't be able to experience the results of their efforts.
Ellsworth continued, "I know we will return to Pittsburgh in the not-so-distant future. In the meantime, we will pursue opportunities to host the event in another city in the weeks ahead."
Brief discussions about options for relocating and rescheduling the convention include The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the Mountain America Expo Center and Salt Palace Convention Center, both of which are located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
If You Had Planned to Attend
Hotel room reservations within the reserved block in the Omni William Penn, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Courtyard, or Westin Convention Center that were made through VisitPittsburgh Housing Services automatically will be canceled within 48 hours; do not contact the hotel directly. For those that made lodging accommodations directly with a hotel, the cancellation will need to be made directly with those entities. Lodging questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dealers will be contacted directly by the ANA convention team, by phone, within the next week to discuss the option of a future credit toward an ANA show or refund, Ackerman stated.
The American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. The ANA helps its 28,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of educational and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications, and conventions. For more information, call (719) 632-2646 or visit money.org.