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Detroit to lose North American International Auto Show The Cobo Center expansion is dead, organizers of the North American International Auto Show -- its premier event -- may explore leaving town, and city and suburban leaders are squabbling over who's to blame.
Hours after the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling Friday killing the deal, auto show organizers said they're open to other venues, while acknowledging few alternatives exist in southeast Michigan. The court ruling nixed a transfer to a regional authority -- once hailed as an example of area cooperation -- that would have overseen a $288 million expansion to the decades-old facility.
"We've got an obligation and a responsibility to the show to provide it with the best venue possible," said Joe Serra, the co-chairman of the 2009 show. The event pumps $350 million to $500 million into the economy. It's only proper we keep an open mind to all options. Our dream was to stay at Cobo and make (the show) a part of Detroit. That's why we've been so patient over the years and make that work. Our hearts are with Detroit and Cobo."
Doug Fox, a show co-chairman, said organizers aren't interested in leaving Cobo, but would "at least listen to those options and consider them." They have a commitment to stay at Cobo through 2010.
"I don't believe there is a facility that meets our needs," Fox said. "We were hopeful this was going to be our solution, and maybe it can still be our solution. Our goal all along is to stay in Detroit. We've made this clear for many years." More at Detroit News
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