Cobo Center to unveil new name in Detroit

Detroit's Cobo Center. (WDIV)
Detroit's Cobo Center. (WDIV)

DETROIT – The new name for Detroit's Cobo Center will be unveiled on Tuesday.

Leaders from TCF Bank, along with local officials, will hold a news conference Tuesday morning to officially unveil the new name for Cobo Center.

Detroit's Cobo Center, which hosts the auto show and other major events, is changing its name to remove the surname of a former mayor known for his racist policies, officials announced earlier this year.

The Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority announced in February that it sold Cobo Center's naming rights to Detroit-based Chemical Bank in a 22-year deal that will generate $1.5 million annually. 

Chemical Bank and TCF announced a merger earlier this year, with the combined holding company and bank now operating under the TCF name and brand.

Albert Cobo, who served as mayor from 1950 to 1957, sought to keep blacks out of predominantly white neighborhoods. The convention center opened on the Detroit River waterfront in 1960, three years after Cobo died.

In addition to the North American International Auto Show, Cobo Center also hosts the annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner, the largest fundraiser by the Detroit branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The organization says it draws 10,000 people each year.

The center was owned and operated by the city until 2009, when the regional authority was created. Officials said in a release that the money made from the deal with Chemical Bank will save state taxpayers millions of dollars and help the center "move toward becoming a self-sustaining facility" within about five years.


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