Chemical Bank Secures Naming Rights to Detroit’s Cobo Center

Chemical Bank has bought the naming rights for Cobo Center and will rename the convention center by the end of the year.

Detroit’s Cobo Center will have a new name by the end of the year as the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority today announced a multi-million-dollar, 22-year naming-rights agreement with Chemical Bank, the largest bank headquartered in Michigan.

Officials say the deal is the most valuable naming-rights contract for any convention center.

“This unprecedented naming rights agreement is a great win for all parties,” says Claude Molinari, general manager of Cobo Center. “Chemical Bank makes a strong statement of commitment to the region.”

The agreement is for $1.5-million-a-year for 22 years ($33 million), and gives the bank exclusive naming rights for the center. The center’s new name likely will reflect the TCF Financial Corp. name once the merger between TCF and Chemical Bank is finalized in the coming months. The merged company will operate under the TCF name and brand, and be headquartered in a new 20-story building in downtown Detroit (southwest corner of Woodward Avenue and Elizabeth Street) in the next three years.

The DRCFA’s selection of Chemical Bank represents a strong financial future and a move toward the 730,000-square-foot Cobo becoming a self-sustaining facility by 2024 – saving Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars.

“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,” says Larry Alexander, chairman of the DRCFA and president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. “There could not be a better partner than Chemical Bank.”

Since its creation in 2009, the DRCFA has worked to make the center a financially self-sustaining facility by 2024. Through the DRCFA’s management of financial resources, the DRCFA is ahead of schedule and has saved the state’s taxpayers an estimated $74.7 million. The City of Detroit and individual municipalities across the state also are 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,” says 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.”