Cobo Hall Expansion Likely; NAIAS May Stay in Detroit

After weeks of controversy surrounding the possibility of moving the North American International Auto Show out of Detroit’s Cobo Hall, a new expansion plan is expected to upgrade the convention center and keep the show in the Motor City.

News of the Cobo Hall expansion comes after the Detroit City Council failed to achieve enough votes to transfer ownership of Cobo Hall to a regional authority. Instead, the City of Detroit will retain ownership of the complex, but will share governance with neighboring counties.

As a result, extended hotel and liquor taxes from Detroit and the partnering counties will fund a $288 million renovation, a necessity in order to retain the NAIAS.

“This is a victory for the region. Our dedication and due diligence is paying off,” said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. “Our goal was to make sure that we did not lose our trademark–the North American International Auto Show. This will enable us to retain about 16,000 jobs and $500 million in economic impact annually.”

Had this new deal not come together, the North American International Auto Show would likely have moved to Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, presently home to the annual Chicago auto show.

Source: The Detroit News