For years Cobo Hall, the venue for the North American International Automobile Show has been suspect. No matter how good the vehicles may be displayed with special lighting, the roof did leak, the rest rooms were awful, it was either too hot or too cold and exhibitors and media attendees alike were certain to come up with a vociferous array of complaints.
Result? A three-year, three-phase $270 million renovation and expansion is nearly complete, just in time for the show’s media preview days. There’s a new atrium overlooking the Windsor, Canada skyline and the Detroit River. The Wayne exhibit hall has had 25,000 square feet added and parking has been expanded by 500 spaces.
Also good news is the relocation of the Michelin Media Center from the inconvenient third floor of Cobo to Michigan Hall at river level. It’s located between the new three-story atrium, and the indoor Aisin Drive Green Experience test track. There will be more work spaces — 700 of ‘em –, hard line web connectivity, broadcast and photo centers and of course, a steady flow of coffee, refreshments and snacks.