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As much as the cars are the stars, this year Cobo Center got equal billing

Cobo Center Latest News


John Graham of ASAE on Cobo Center
John Graham of ASAE on Cobo Center

The New Cobo Center Creates Big Buzz
NAIAS launches the new Cobo Center with excitement and record crowds

Every major Detroit news outlet had all eyes on Cobo Center during the January Detroit auto show. CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates all showcased the Cobo renovations, including the 2,800 square-foot exterior video board on the Washington Blvd. and Congress St. corner of the facility. The ABC affiliate, WXYZ, was on site during the show and took viewers on a tour, showcasing the ballrooms, river views, meeting rooms and concourse renovations. Tom Walsh and John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press wrote front page articles.


"In my 40-year career, I have never seen the amount of change that has happened in such a compressed period of time to improve the stature, marketability and appeal of a convention destination as has occurred in Detroit," said Thom Connors, Cobo general manager and SMG regional vice president.* 


With the strongest attendance in six years for the show and Charity Preview raising $5.3 million for local children's charities, the buzz among attendees was the new Cobo and the comeback of Detroit.


"People are more inviting; the staff here is more engaging," said Mark Hackel, Macomb County Executive. "And you can feel it especially around the downtown area."*


Throughout the Cobo Center renovation, bookings have nearly tripled. The final stages, scheduled to be completed in June 2015 include an east facade glass canopy and 6,000 square-foot video screen above the main entrance. Upgrades to meeting rooms and the concourse will also continue.


A surprise visit from SMG CEO Wes Westley during the first week of the show happened after he saw the incredible social media buzz around Cobo and NAIAS. "I had to get out there to see the action," said Westley, "so I came in for an overnight Wednesday and Thursday. I was blown away by the video boards, the cars, the excitement in the city and the industry. It's really gratifying to see."*


You have to come and see for yourself.  Call today to schedule a site visit and kitchen tasting in the new Cobo Center.


For more information, to request a ballroom tour or a private tasting, please contact Greg DeSandy, Director of Sales at  or call 313-877-8214


*quotes used attributable to Tom Walsh's article, Detroit Free Press 1/18/15.