After nearly 60 years carrying the name of a Detroit mayor whose policies have come under scrutiny in the rearview mirror of history, the city’s landmark riverfront conference center today has a new name: TCF Center.
The new name and signage were revealed by TCF Executive Chairman Gary Torgow, TCF President and CEO Craig Dahl, and Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority Chairman Larry Alexander. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow also participated in the event.
“This naming rights agreement has been a goal of the DRCFA since it was formed in 2009 and TCF Bank is the perfect partner,” said Alexander, who is also president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our partnership with TCF Bank will help to cement the convention center’s strong financial future. We continue to dedicate ourselves to providing world-class service to our customers, maximizing positive economic impact, creating region-wide jobs and expanding business opportunities for the benefit of business stakeholders and the local community.”
The name change is being celebrated all day with a TCF-hosted block party including live music by Your Generation, Selected of God Choir, and The Temptations; free food; and activities for children outside the convention center. All are invited to attend the festivities that conclude at 6 p.m.
“We couldn’t be prouder or more honored to partner with the authority on this unique opportunity to support our hometown and state,” Torgow said. “It helps ensure a continued strong, vibrant future for the world-class Detroit convention center that connects our city to the world. It’s an important part of our larger, intentional effort to marry inclusion with investment across the city and its neighborhoods, region, and state. We look forward to reaching new heights.”
Chemical Financial Corp. won the naming rights to the facility in February — a $33 million, 22-year deal — but waited until its merger with TCF Financial Corp. was finalized on Aug. 1 to enact the change.
“This is exciting news for the city of Detroit and the whole state of Michigan,” Whitmer said. “The new name demonstrates TCF’s strong commitment to the future of our state, and their investment sends a powerful message to the whole country that Michigan is the home for opportunity.”
Opened in 1960, the conference center that is home to the North American International Auto Show and other high-profile events that attract more than 1.5 million visitor each year was named after Mayor Albert E. Cobo, who died in office in 1957 after serving eight years. He was 63 years old.
The transition from Cobo Center to the TCF Center name will take place over the remainder of 2019, with final branding and assets being updated throughout.
“I can’t think of better partners than Gary Torgow and the team at TCF Bank to help secure the future of our region’s convention center,” says Duggan. “Today’s announcement, combined with TCF’s commitment to build its new headquarters in downtown Detroit and Gary’s leadership building our Strategic Neighborhood Fund, shows TCF Bank is truly invested in our city and its people.”
At the time of the naming rights announcement, the DRCFA said the deal is the most valuable naming-rights contract for any convention center.
The authority says it expects the revenue from TCF will help make the make the 730,000-square-foot center self-sustaining by 2024 – saving Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars.