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Facilities Update
New Contract With COBO Center Locks In NAIAS Through 2017

Senior officials for the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority and the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) recently signed an unprecedented five-year contract that will keep one of the world’s most influential auto shows in the Motor City through 2017. The agreement represents an aggregate economic impact of $1.75 billion to Southeast Michigan over the life of the deal, said Larry Alexander, chairman of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority.

“This is a triumph for the city of Detroit, the region and the state and a huge endorsement of the transformation we’re making at Cobo Center,” Alexander said. “Four short years ago, we were in danger of losing this region’s most recognized annual event and one of its most valuable assets. Today, we’re proud to announce to the world that the North American International Auto Show will remain in Detroit for the foreseeable future.”

“We’re thrilled about the changes we’ve seen at Cobo Center,” said Bill Perkins, senior co-chair of the 2012 NAIAS. “The essence of good customer relations is customer service and feedback, and we were pleased that the NAIAS Executive Committee was included in the Cobo transformation planning process.

“The NAIAS has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Cobo and the city of Detroit, Perkins said, and “we wanted to make this commitment because of the remarkable changes that have occurred and are planned over the next few years.” Pictured above, board members of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility (DRCFA) and the Executive Committee of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) are all smiles as they stand behind Cobo Center General Manager Thom Connors (seated, left) and NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts (seated, right) after the signing of the agreement. Standing, left to right are: Larry Alexander, DRCFA board chair; Juliette Okotie-Eboh, DRCFA vice-chair: Joe Abdoo, DRCFA secretary; Waymon Guillebeaux, DRCFA project manager; Mike Carroll, DRCFA treasurer; and Bob Shuman, Detroit Auto Dealers.

About the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority

The Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) was created in 2009 to operate Cobo Convention and Exhibition Center in Detroit under long-term lease from the city of Detroit. The DRCFA Board of Directors is comprised of five representatives selected by the Governor of Michigan, the Mayor of Detroit, and the county executives of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb. The DRCFA receives funding from revenues at Cobo Center as well as support from the state’s Convention Fund. For more information, visit the Authority’s Web site at

About the North American International Auto Show

Entering its 24th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place. One of the largest media events in North America, the NAIAS is the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade.
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