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Sorry Bloomington, You’re No Belgrade.

Plus a schoolhouse for sale, a new fence for the football stadium, and a Strib Swiftie geeks out in today's Flyover news roundup.

4:25 PM CDT on June 21, 2023

World Expo proposal image|

This is what Serbia took from us.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

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The future of international tourist traps will not be in Bloomington. The Bureau International des Expositions rejected a Minnesota bid to host the 2027 World Expo, as the World’s Fair is called these days. Bloomington’s message of “Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Wellness and Well-Being for All” was simply not as resonant with the organizers as the Serbian city’s campaign theme, “Play for Humanity: Sport and Music for All.” The effort to net the event for Minnesota began way back in 2014; late last year some truly bizarre designs for the proposed Expo grounds were circulated. While this development will generally be discussed as an economic loss for the metro area (it was supposed to generate 30,000 jobs), we're always suspicious of the economic impact of tourist-driven quick fixes like this (especially those that were projected to cost $2 billion). But the city of Bloomington is looking on the bright side—a disappointed Mayor Tim Busse pointed out the bid “raised awareness of Bloomington in the development community, which will help us take advantage of the many exciting opportunities for redevelopment not only for some of the property in south loop but redevelopment citywide.”

Wanna Buy a 114-Year-Old Schoolhouse for $117K?

"I love to buy and sell things," Andrew Rockhold told his hometown paper, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, in 2020. The car salesman was speaking generally in a story specifically about his attempt to unload the 15,000-square-foot historic schoolhouse he had purchased a few years earlier in nearby Comstock, Minnesota. His building, which hasn't operated as a school since the mid '70s, hit the market yet again last week for $117,000. "This has so much potential," reads the listing from Trilogy Real Estate. "Can be converted into whatever the next homeowner needs. This historic building used to be a school but can be converted to multifamily, workspace, or home. Sqft is an estimate as some floors have collapsed. Sold AS-IS." But hey: new roof!

The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Forum reports, and Rockhold once ran a Facebook account that detailed his preservation efforts. He would invite local pickers and history buffs to tour the property with him. Timestamped 2021, the last FB post states that Rockhold had sold the schoolhouse via eBay auction, but county records still list him as the owner. Click here for lots of images of the dusty treasures discovered inside, including dolls, maps, bikes, wagon wheels, and more. (The current listing photos display additional finds.) "I'm willing to do it," Rockhold said of rehabbing the building in '20, "but I'm also willing to let it go if someone else wants to do it."

U.S. Bank to Get Foreboding New Fence

The metal chain-link fence outside of U.S. Bank Stadium just isn’t cutting it these days, so in the coming years it will be torn down and replaced with something that better matches the dystopian aesthetic of the Vikings’ playground: an unscalable, impenetrable black wall. Construction for the $15.7 million, 8-foot-tall fence is brought to you via this year’s legislative session, which includes a plan to pay off the publicly financed part of the stadium. This is only phase one of the project, however: U.S. Bank will also have to come up with $48 million to complete the entrance. "The challenge for that phase will be funding it," MSFA Chairman Michael Vekich tells the Star Tribune. The project is set to start with surveying and calendar planning sometime next week; right now everyone except for Taylor Swift’s crew is barred from the stadium.

Strib Dives Deep Into T-Swift Analytics

And speaking of Taylor Swift, it's fun to see the Serious Daily Newspaper let its hair down and assign a "Staff Swiftie" byline designation. That's the honorific associated with C.J. Sinner, the Star Tribune's director of graphics and data visuals who used her talents, in conjunction with her intense Taylor fandom, to beautifully illustrate which songs Ms. Swift might play this weekend at U.S. Bank Stadium. "Can we get inside her head and guess the plans for Minneapolis? This is us trying," Sinner writes before diving deep into a dizzying sprawl of rules, concert history, charts, graphs, polls, surplus lyrical allusions, and neato visual elements that are sure to delight fellow fans and maybe even intrigue pop agnostics. Ready for it? Click here to nerd-out like a Swiftie.

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