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Detroit's Cobo Center to be renamed

Cobo Center Press Release
Screen shot from a video showing plans for renovating the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit

Officials say Detroit's Cobo Center will be renamed. Detroit-based Chemical Bank bought the naming rights in a 22 year deal for $1.5 million annually. The $33 million will be payed to the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority.

The name of former Detroit mayor, Albert Cobo, is associated with his racist policies of the 1950s. He held the city office from 1950-1957.

Larry Alexander is the chairman of the regional authority board. He says this deal is like "killing two birds with one stone." He says he "think local residents will appreciate having the Cobo name down" while the money from the Chemical Bank will help support long term funding. That money, he says, will "benefit the city, the region, and the state."

Tom Wennerberg is the Chief Marketing Officer at Chemical Bank. He says the bank is thrilled to help turn the page from the past. Wennerberg says the bank expects the partnership "will help attract larger, more high profile events at the convention center, which will lead to certainly more jobs."

The contract was kept quiet this past summer because of plans for a merger with TCF financial corporation. Wennerberg says if the merger goes through, the TCF name will be on the convention center later this year.

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