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Old 05-08-2009, 02:54 AM   #1
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Default Detroit Auto Show could leave Detroit?

Upstart convention center Rock Financial Showplace could soon be in contention to host the 2011 North American International Auto ShowOfficials from Oakland County, the auto show and the owners of the convention center have held exploratory talks about expanding the convention center to host the auto show after the collapse of a renovation deal for Cobo Center in Detroit.Doug Fox, senior cochair for the North American International Auto Show, said Rock Financial Showplace owner Blair Bowman holds enough land for the expansion.

But at just more than 300,000 square feet of exhibition space, there are significant hurdles. Cobo Center, with about 700,000 square feet of space, is considered too small.
Built for less than $20 million, Rock Financial Showplace opened in 2005 on 55 acres next to I-96 off of Novi Road.
"They need to do a significant expansion, but they have assembled the land," Fox said.

That expansion could cost between $120 million and $180 million, Fox said.

"Oakland County will be working legislatively ... to make this expansion possible," Fox said.
Oakland County officials could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

After years of groundwork, Detroit City Council recently rejected a $288-million deal to renovate the aging center and transfer it to a regional authority. That action was upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals last month after Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. challenged the council's authority.

For 2010, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which produces the auto show, plans to hold the event at Cobo Center.

But if it is to remain in Detroit, Fox said Cobo must be renovated because in its current condition, it costs automakers too much to build and light exhibits. "It's the inefficiencies of moving materials in and out of the building," Fox said.

"It takes so long because of antiquated docks, doors that don't function and electrical sockets that aren't adequate," Fox said. "It's just unacceptable, and it just can't continue."
Fox said his preference is for the auto show to remain in Detroit, but time is short.

"We need them to bring the Cobo expansion back to life very quickly," Fox said
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:46 AM   #2
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Upstart convention center Rock Financial Showplace
Upstart? Not so much, it's the Novi expo center, Rock financial bought it or the naming rights a couple years ago.

Anyway, this has been big news locally for a few months, surprised it has taken so long to hit national news. Cobo is getting pretty worn out, expansion / repair would get very costly, best to just tear down COBO IMHO, even though it is a very cool venue in a cool location (downtown)

Neat fact about the autoshow, it used to be held in the grand ballroom of the Masonic Temple in downtown Detroit, 3 manufacturers Cord, Cadillac and Packard
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:08 AM   #3
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The Novi Expo was next to the new place; they were both open at the same time for a bit. I think Rock did buy it all up for the expansion, since they basically ran it out of business.
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