Detroit Auto Show will be crammed into Cobo Hall until 2017

Automotive News reports that the Detroit Auto Show will remain in the Cobo Center for the next five years. Rod Alberts, executive director of the North American International Auto Show, and Thom Connors, Cobo Center general manager, signed a contract that will keep the show at Cobo through 2017. The report says the deal could mean $1.75 billion in combined economic impact for southeast Michigan. While the Cobo Center has seen significant expansion in recent years, voices from around the automotive industry had called for the show's move to a new venue.

Cobo Center recently secured funding for third phase of the hall's renovation. The plans call for Cobo Arena to converted into a 40,000 square-foot ballroom; an open-air terrace is also part of the plan, which will cost around $279 million.

Previous changes to the hall have focused on infrastructure, with the aim of improving the building's wiring so that automakers can use large presentation screens in their displays. Automotive News reports the second phase of of the renovations cost approximately $57 million, and included additional parking, roof work and more exhibition space.

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