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Renovation Plans for Detroit’s Cobo Center Unveiled


Detroit, MI – The long-awaited plan to renovate Detroit’s Cobo Convention Center was unveiled March 2 in the form of a $221 million project that will be completed by the end of 2014.

The highlights of the project include the conversion of Cobo Arena to a 40,000 square foot ballroom, another 25,000 square feet of prime exhibit space, extensive upgrading of the complex’s infrastructure, and the addition of a three-story glassed-in atrium and new glass walls that will highlight Cobo’s riverfront location.

A comprehensive virtual tour of the new and improved Cobo is available at

“We are making the changes that our customers, stakeholders and competitive research have told us are necessary,” said Larry Alexander, chairman of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA). “This plan gives Detroit a cornerstone facility worthy of our region’s proven ability to host world-class events.”

The bond-financed project will be completed by the end of 2014, but will be far enough along to accommodate the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January 2014.

Cobo currently offers 700,000 square feet of prime exhibit space and is ranked 20th on the Trade Show Executive World’s Top Convention Centers’ list of largest exhibit halls. The center faced the possibility of losing the NAIAS unless some significant improvements were made and more space was added.

The DRCFA was formed in 2009 to take over Cobo from the City of Detroit. The organization selected SMG in September 2010 to manage the facility.

Reach General Manager Thom Connors at (313) 877-8777 or

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