Detroit Auto Show canceled; venue will be converted into field hospital

Andrew Cummings
March 30, 2020

Organizers said they expected the Federal Emergency Management Agency to designate the TCF Center as a field hospital.

The 2020 Detroit motor show - which had been moved from the United States winter in January to summer in June from this year - has been cancelled so the massive exhibition centre can be used as a field hospital.

NAIAS is held each year in the TCF Center, formerly known as the Cobo Center.

"Although we are disappointed, there is nothing more important to us than the health, safety and well-being of the citizens of Detroit and MI, and we will do what we can to support our community's fight against the coronavirus outbreak", said NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts said in a release.

First reported by the Detroit Free Press Saturday afternoon, the major event's cancellation is only the latest casualty in a long list of sporting events, policy meetings and school schedules disrupted by COVID-19.

This year's NAIAS was going to be Detroit's first auto show hosted in the summer following years of the global event taking place in January. Alberts said it became clear that TCF Center would be an inevitable option to serve as a care facility.

The reason that organisers Detroit Auto Dealers Association moved the usually wintery January show to the summer was to so it could offer outdoor events along the riverfront, including test drives, demonstrations of self-driving cars and other new tech, plus the Motor Bella, a pre-show street festival of English and Italian cars in downtown Detroit. With the cancellation of the 2020 show, Detroit will go more than two-and-a-half years without one of its signature events, as the last one was held in January 2019.

Tickets for the show that have already been purchased will be fully refunded, and the show will happen in June 2021.

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