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Minnesota, U.S. unveil renderings, site plans in bid to host World's Fair in 2027 in Bloomington

By Kelly Busche – Reporter/Broadcaster, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Jun 20, 2022 Updated Jun 20, 2022, 3:07pm CDT

Representatives from the Minnesota USA Expo 2027 organization presented on Monday the United States' bid to host the 2027 World's Fair in Bloomington — a presentation that included site plans and renderings.

Numerous modern structures, elevated walkways and a towering water feature would rise on land next to the Mall of America if the nation is selected to host the months-long Expo 2027. The organizing committee presented its Expo 2027 bid in Paris to the International des Expositions (BIE) and its 140 member countries. Join the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal to unlock even more insights! Minnesota USA Expo 2027 is pitching the theme of "Healthy People, Healthy Planet" for its expo. It would run for 93 days during summer 2027. Two city blocks would anchor the expo site: the North Expo and South Expo. The North Expo and South Expo are pictured. The Mall of America is on the left side of the image.

MINNESOTA USA EXPO 2027 VIA BUREAU INTERNATIONAL DES EXPOSITIONS The North Expo would be home to an international conference center, themed pavilions, stages, and food and drink options. An elevated parkway would connect the North Expo and the South Expo. The South Expo would have the host pavilion at its center, with international pavilions, stages, and food and drink options surrounding it.

Once the expo finishes, a new urban neighborhood surrounding the site would make use of its facilities. The community would use the structures for meetings, international conferences, performances, sports and more, David Loehr, senior adviser and architect for Minnesota USA Expo 2027, said during the bid presentation Monday. The neighborhood would also have access to expanded public transportation, bicycle routes and an elevated "High Line" park, Loehr said. A towering water feature is included in Minnesota USA Expo 2027's site plans. MINNESOTA USA EXPO 2027 VIA BUREAU INTERNATIONAL DES EXPOSITIONS "We have taken vacant parcels owned and controlled by the city and transformed them into a singular expo district full of energy from participants, visitors, performers, food, art and culture," Loehr said.

The U.S. bid also includes a mention of the transportation infrastructure near the potential expo site, commerce opportunities, and plans by the U.S. Commerce Department to create a BIE liaison office. The office would help facilitate travel to and from the expo among BIE officials and member countries, Sam De Boo, executive vice president of Ecolab Inc., said during the presentation.

"Bloomington is a vibrant, thriving city. Its key location and infrastructure in place today help make this city an ideal city to serve the expo," Bloomington Mayor Tim Busse said in Paris on Monday. "… We are so excited to put our capabilities to work and bring the expo back to the United States of America."

A variety of private revenue sources will fund Minnesota USA Expo 2027 — which is responsible for developing the expo site. Funding sources could include ticket sales, sponsorships, licensing, and digital and streaming services. In the late 1990s, Congress banned the use of federal funds to pay for expos. The Expo 2027 site in Bloomington, with the Mall of America on the left MINNESOTA USA EXPO 2027 VIA BUREAU INTERNATIONAL DES EXPOSITIONS Representatives of the four other nations competing to host the international event also presented in Paris on Monday. These nations include:

  • Thailand (Phuket)

  • Serbia (Belgrade)

  • Spain (Malaga)

  • Argentina (San Carlos de Bariloche)

Even with the presentation complete and its formal bid submitted, there's still a year left of campaigning ahead for Minnesota USA Expo 2027. This fall, BIE officials will travel to Bloomington and Washington, D.C., for an inquiry mission, during which the nation's bid to host the expo will be examined for feasibility and viability.

Following further presentations and additional bid activity, the BIE assembly will vote in June 2023 to choose the location of Expo 2027.

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