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The Most Valuable Naming Rights Deal for a Convention Center to Date Executed at Cobo Center

Cobo Center corner digital sign

Claude Molinari, general manager of SMG/Cobo Center, recently announced an unprecedented partnership in Detroit. The Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) has awarded the naming rights of Cobo Center to Chemical Bank, the largest bank headquartered in Michigan. Chemical Bank and the DRCFA will announce the new name of the world-class convention center by the end of 2019, and the name will remain Cobo Center until that time.

"This unprecedented naming rights agreement is a great win for all parties.  Chemical Bank makes a strong statement of commitment to the region and secured naming rights to a convention center that is growing in notoriety every day," said Molinari.

View of Cobo Center from river at sunset

Here are the highlights:

  • Chemical Bank awarded naming rights for one of the nation's leading convention centers and continues legacy of deep community commitment 
  • DRCFA's selection of Chemical Bank represents strong financial future and move toward becoming a self-sustaining facility by 2024; saving Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars
  • Chemical Bank and the DRCFA to announce the new name of the world-class Convention Center by the end of 2019
  • The 22-year, $1.5million-a-year agreement gives the bank exclusive naming rights for the center and sets a new industry standard reflective of the world-class facility and Detroit's rise in the national market.

"Our announcement today gives us all an important message: that public-private partnerships work, and that we continue to dedicate ourselves to serving the customers of this great Center and to the rebuilding of a truly great American city," said Larry Alexander, Chairman of the DRCFA and President and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. "There could not be a better partner than Chemical Bank."

Chemical Bank being awarded the naming rights of Cobo Center comes at an exciting time for the company.  Chemical Financial Corporation recently announced its merger with TCF Financial Corporation, which will be headquartered in a new 20-story building in downtown Detroit.  The combined holding company and bank will operate under the TCF name and brand following the closing of the merger. The merger is expected to close in the late third or early fourth quarter of 2019, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of customary regulatory approvals and approval by the shareholders of each company.

Larry Alexander

"This is the kind of unique collaboration and long-term commitment to the city of Detroit and greater region that can make a real, meaningful difference for Michiganders. I'm eager to partner with the business community to make sure we bring more investment to our state, boost local economies in cities like Detroit, and connect more Michiganders to good-paying jobs," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Since its creation in 2009, the DRCFA has worked diligently to meet its obligation to the legislative act and fulfill its responsibility to the taxpayers of the State of Michigan in making the current Convention Center a financially self-sustaining facility by 2024. Through the DRCFA's effective management of financial resources, the DRCFA is ahead of schedule and has saved the state's taxpayers an estimated $74.7 million since its inception in 2009. The City of Detroit and individual municipalities across the state are also benefitting from this financial structure, saving them millions of dollars. The naming rights initiative for the convention center has been a longtime goal of the DRCFA. Michigan taxpayers will receive significant benefit in sponsorship revenue to offset the cost of operating the convention center.

"The taxpayers of Michigan receive significant benefit in sponsorship revenue to offset the cost of operating this amazing convention center and a great partner in a trusted Michigan based banking institution," said Molinari.  "It speaks so very well of the rebirth of this facility, this city, and this region that the most valuable naming rights deal for a convention center ever was executed in Detroit, Michigan."


About Cobo Center:

With 723,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, Cobo Center boasts one of the largest contiguous exhibit floor spaces in North America and is the 17th largest convention center in the country.  Visit online at


About the DRCFA:

On September 15, 2009, operational control of Cobo Center transferred to the DRCFA, under a collaborative agreement by the Michigan State Legislature, the City of Detroit, and Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Each of these entities has an appointed member on the DRCFA Board. Larry Alexander is the appointee of the Governor of the State of Michigan and serves as Chairman of the Board. For more information visit:

About Chemical Financial Corporation

Chemical Financial Corporation is the largest banking company headquartered and operating branch offices in Michigan. Chemical operates through its subsidiary bank, Chemical Bank, with 212 banking offices located primarily in Michigan, northeast Ohio and northern Indiana. As of December 31, 2018, Chemical had total consolidated assets of $21.5 billion. Chemical Financial Corporation's common stock trades on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol CHFC and is one of the issuers comprising The NASDAQ Global Select Market and the S&P MidCap 400 Index. More information about Chemical Financial Corporation is available by visiting the "Investor Information" section of its website at