Detroit Auto Show: Location Still In Limbo

May 19, 2009

According to inside sources who wish to remain anonymous, Cobo Center (the current home of the Detroit Auto Show) is currently the absolute most expensive and flat-out worst convention center in the world that hosts a major auto show.

Detroit City Council member Monica Conyers, what to you think of that?

Conyers often refers to Cobo Center as a "crown jewel" of Detroit. We're not sure what type of jewel Cobo is, but we do know that during April's AutoRama indoor car show, Cobo's roof leaked on the custom cars that were on display ... so maybe the jewel is some kind of porrous rock?

Detroit's new mayor, Dave Bing (who thankfully doesn't have a prison record like the former mayor Kilpatrick now does) is attempting to restart talks that would help keep the Detroit Auto Show at Cobo Center and in Detroit, as opposed to having the major event move to the suburb of Novi.

The political drama is stupefying because it shines a light on the dysfunctional politics that have continually pushed Detroit deeper into its state of economic blight. Looking in helplessly from the outside is the Detroit Auto Dealers Association. This organization of business professionals who want nothing more than to produce a world-class international auto show, but seem to be stymied at every opportunity.

For those that are familiar with Cobo Center, the venue is literally crumbling away, is inconvenient to load into and out of, and is locked up by over-paid unions that refuse to recognize the reality of today's economy. With this being the truth, why would anyone want to hold a major convention at Cobo? Because it's in Detroit, that's why, and that still matters to many.

However, this kind sentiment has all but been pushed aside by political bickering, and opportunists from outside Detroit  are waiting to deliver a new venue that will offer exceptional value for those who display (better ingress/egress and no unions) in a suburb with plenty of affordable hotels that aren't any father away from Detroit's Metro Airport. The new exhibition space should also deliver a far superior experience for show-goers as well.

And should the Detroit Auto Show move to Novi, it is important to note that the Detroit Pistons play basketball in Auburn Hills. And yet, the city survives. Sort of.

[The Detroit News]

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