NAIAS 2020 Cancelled, TCF Center to Become Temporary Hospital

The North American International Auto Show, previously scheduled for June in and around TCF Center in Detroit, has announced it is postponing the show to June 2021 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to repurpose the center into a temporary field hospital.
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TCF Center
NAIAS will be postponed for a year, and the TCF Center will be transformed into a temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients. // File photo

The North American International Auto Show, previously scheduled for June in and around TCF Center in Detroit, has announced it is postponing the show to June 2021 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to repurpose the center into a temporary field hospital.

“Although we are disappointed, there is nothing more important to us than the health, safety, and well-being of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan, and we will do what we can to support our community’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak,” says Rod Alberts, executive director of NAIAS. “With the more than 100 convention centers and facilities around the country being considered to potentially serve as temporary hospitals, it became clear to us that TCF Center would be an inevitable option to serve as a care facility to satisfy our community’s urgent health needs.

NAIAS plans to hold its next annual show in June 2021. Doug North, chairman of the 2020 NAIAS says show officials are discussing plans for a fundraising activity later this year to benefit the children’s charities that were designated as beneficiaries of the 2020 Charity Preview event. North also will serve as chairman of the 2021 show.

With the convention center being designated a temporary alternate care facility, mobilization already has begun and construction will be performed by the TCF Center workforce and union labor. The temporary site will be reserved for COVID-19 patients, relieving the burden on local hospitals. It will be designed in the most efficient way possible to allow the center to resume normal operations when the crisis ends.

“The level of excitement for the 2020 show was extraordinary, and we deeply appreciate all of the support from our OEM partners and our more than 200 valued sponsors, as well as the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan,” North says. “We will be ready to unleash this energy and enthusiasm when June 2021 rolls around to produce the absolute best show and experience ever. We look forward to literally redefining the auto show landscape with fresh ideas and innovative opportunities for mobility activations and partnerships.”

All tickets for the 2020 show will be fully refunded. Charity Preview ticket holders will be given the option to receive refunds or to donate the cost of their tickets to one of the nine designated Charity Preview beneficiaries.

The NAIAS sponsorship team will be in contact with each sponsor to answer questions regarding refunds and their contracts.

Dates for the 2021 show already have been selected and are as follows:

  • Motor Bella: Friday, June 11-Monday, June 14
  • The Gallery: Monday, June 14
  • Press Preview: Tuesday, June 15-Wednesday, June 16
  • AutoMobili-D Powered by PlanetM: Tuesday, June 15-Thursday, June 17
  • Industry Preview: Wednesday, June 16-Thursday, June 17
  • Charity Preview: Friday, June 18
  • Public Show: Saturday, June 19-Saturday, June 26

The center is working with the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau to reschedule client events.

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