BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Wednesday morning, elected officials revitalized a push to put Minnesota on the world stage.
Gov. Tim Walz, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and a delegation of Expo leaders from the Bureau of International Expositions provided an update on the United States' bid to host the 2027 World Expo in Bloomington.
BIE members arrived Sunday, visiting Bloomington, Minneapolis and St. Paul over the last few days to examine the feasibility and viability of hosting the expo in our state. Their tour included meeting with the mayors of each city and going to places including U.S. Bank Stadium, the governor's mansion and the proposed Bloomington expo site.
The White House selected and appointed Bloomington to host the expo. It's been nearly 40 years since a World's Fair was held on United States soil. In 1984, New Orleans played host to more than 7 million visitors at the Louisiana World's Exposition. Since then, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has spent about a decade working on the nation's bid to host again.
"We have bipartisan support on both the congressional level as well as the state level," she said.
To help convince the international guests visiting the Capitol Wednesday, she and the governor touted Minnesota's resume.
"We are home to 16 Fortune 500 companies," Klobuchar said. "We're the state that brought the world everything from the pacemaker to the Post-it Note … We brought the world Prince. We brought the world Bob Dylan."
Local leaders also emphasized Minnesota's health care, as the proposed theme for the 2027 expo is "Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Wellness and Well-Being for All."
"The study just came out from UnitedHealthcare, ranking all the 50 states and Minnesota ranks first in health care for our children and for women," Walz said.
"We also approach this with a great deal of humility that we have much to learn from others across the world," bid committee president and CEO John Stanoch added.
Nonprofit Minnesota Expo 2027 is the official organization working to secure Bloomington as the host site for the World's Fair in five years.
The proposed expo site is concentrated in the South Loop neighborhood of Bloomington, situated near the Mall of America and MSP International Airport.
The health theme was chosen by the Minnesota World's Fair Bid Committee with the goal of highlighting "the importance of health and medicine at a global level and to spotlight Minnesota’s unique position as one of the world’s most important centers of excellence and innovation in health, healing, medical sciences, and the promotion of wellness."
Minnesota Expo 2027 predicts more than 13 million people would visit the Bloomington fair over a span of three months (93 days) in the summer of 2027, with 90% of attendees being non-residents. Officials say more than 33,000 US jobs would be created, including 17,000 in Minnesota.
"For close to three decades, Bloomington was the home for professional sports here in Minnesota, and when the stadiums went downtown and the MOA was built, it was another important step showing that Bloomington could take on these big things like that," said Bloomington Mayor Tim Busse.
More than $700 million in spending from international visitors across the U.S. would come to Minnesota, the equivalent of hosting 93 Super Bowls.
The U.S. is competing against Argentina, Serbia, Spain and Thailand to host the international event. The final decision is expected to be made in June 2023. Already though, the feedback seems good.
"It's clear that the city has everything that you need in order to host a successful event," BIE secretary general Dimitri Kerkentzes said. "I think it's important that for outside the borders of the United States more of the world understands that Minnesota is an incredibly diverse state. I would even dare say Minnesota seems like it's a world expo every single day of the year."
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