Detroit Mayor Dave Bing takes 1st tour of Auto Show ahead of media previews

Mayor Bing says 3 or 4 years ago many didn't think what's going on in Cobo Center was possible

DETROIT - Cobo Center, the home for the North American International Auto Show, has had a $300 million facelift and is getting ready for the world stage.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing got his first look inside the Auto Show on Thursday when he toured Cobo Center ahead of the Media Previews which start Monday.

"I don't think three or four years ago any thought that this was possible," said Bing.

Exhibit spaces and Wi-Fi access have been expanded throughout Cobo as part of a turnaround plan that began in 2009.

Two thousand workers are finishing the exhibits that will be open to the public in a little more than a week.

"The Cobo expansion is adding a lot more jobs in this economy where people have lost a lot of jobs," said Jim Rogers, with IATSE Local 38. "It's a win, win for everybody."

Executives from the Big Three and Toyota briefed the Detroit mayor on the show during his tour. Mayor Bing ended the tour with the most impressive part of Cobo's renovation: the new 250-foot atrium.

"You just have to look up, and you can get a crane in your neck. This is just absolutely wonderful," said Bing.

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