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Mayor’s memo: No Expo, but Bloomington’s future is bright

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Bloomington Briefing Published August 1, 2023
Updated on August 1, 2023
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By Mayor Tim Busse 

By now you know: the U.S., specifically Minnesota and Bloomington, lost its bid to host Expo 2027. That means our city will not be hosting the World’s Fair that year. I would like to congratulate all of the finalist countries that were in the running and Serbia for being chosen as the host of Expo 2027. 

Of course, we’re disappointed, but I’d like to tell you how proud I am of our exceptional efforts and offer a few insights on what we’ve gained in the process.

First, to use a baseball metaphor, you can’t get a run without taking a swing. My friends, over the years Bloomington has scored runs—home runs. And we will in the future, but to do so we have to keep swinging.

For decades, Bloomington has been a leader in supporting—and completing—large, successful projects. We have had, and currently have, forward-thinking leaders and partners who continue to be innovators and who think big and bold.

Much of our current development is a product of that way of thinking, including Mall of America, which is not only a success in itself, but led to light rail and other significant spinoff developments and major transit investments in our city.

We placed a bet on Bloomington with the Expo bid, and though we didn’t win, we have been successful. Here’s how.

The world now knows about Bloomington, Minnesota. The two-year effort for the bid has introduced Bloomington to people from many countries and their leaders. Thousands of people who were not aware of us before now know what we have to offer.

With every connection we made, we strengthened our relationships—on the world’s stage, locally and nationally—with key partners at the White House, the State Department, the Department of Commerce, the Minnesota Governor’s Office and many others.

We also raised awareness of Bloomington in the development community, which will help us take advantage of the many exciting opportunities for redevelopment—not only for property in South Loop but citywide. Bloomington is a critical contributor to the economic success of the region. The most significant economic activity in recent years has been the continual work of building the South Loop District. The fact that we have large, available, developable sites in South Loop means Bloomington is attractive to developers and well positioned for the future.

We didn’t get the Expo, but the future is bright for Bloomington. We took a swing. We gave it our best shot. In true Bloomington fashion, we set the stage for more exciting things to come.