US: Detroit’s Cobo Center getting ready to greet 2015 NAIAS visitors image

The first annual automotive event – the North American International Auto Show – is just around the corner and when the visitors will arrive on site they’ll notice big changes have occurred in Cobo Center.

The traditional venue for the automotive event, Detroit’s convention center is currently being put through the finishing touches of a crucial, multiyear, $279-million expansion and upgrade. Cobo, now reshaped to deliver a new, spacious and open look, coupled with an expansive view of the riverfront is already on the agenda of new convention and meeting business. “The restoration and reinvention of Cobo Center has put Detroit back into the mix for meeting and convention planners worldwide,” said Patrick Bero, from the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority.

For the automotive event, the organizers are expecting 5,000 or more news media analysts and industry executives and other representatives from 60 countries and 39 states since January 11, while the public days that start on January 17 could bring in excess of 800,000 visitors. Cobo’s renovation process started back in September 2010 after the City of Detroit ceded authority over the center to the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority. Originally opened back in the 1960s, Cobo underwent a previous upgrade in the late 1980s and today the center has no less than 700,000 square feet of exhibit space.