Posted by: Kath Usitalo | September 1, 2011

Detroit’s Cobo Reno

1962 view of Cobo Hall and Arena (The Detroit News)

After working at the Detroit Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau for more than 13 years I still have a kind of geeky interest in what’s happening on the meeting, tradeshow and exhibit scene.

I’ve also written for Michigan Meetings + Events magazine (the Fall 2011 issue has two stories by yours truly, “A Shore Thing on Lake Michigan” and “Scoping Out the Slopes”).

So when I received an email about the $270 million worth of renovations and expansion going on at Cobo Center, the city’s main conference and exhibition hall, I spent 8 minutes watching the YouTube video about the work being done there.

The 1989 renovation gave Cobo Center a facelift (Cobo photo)

Cobo Hall and adjoining Arena were named for Albert E. Cobo, mayor of Detroit from 1950-57. The complex on the Detroit Riverfront opened in 1960; it was expanded and the facility was renamed Cobo Center in 1989.

This round of renovations and expansion will take 30 months to complete, and there are visible and behind-the-scenes improvements that should please convention and tradeshow planners, exhibitors and attendees, as well as the general public.

I especially like the rehab of Cobo Arena and the new atrium that will take advantage of the Detroit Riverfront location.

New windows will overlook the Detroit River; what a concept!

If you’ve ever attended a convention, banquet or auto show at Cobo, or are just curious about something named Cobo, pop some corn and check out the Cobo Transformation Progress Report-Fall 2011 video.


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