Cobo Center: Dream to Reality

About Us

The vision of Cobo Center is to make each event the most important of the year.

The mission is delivering outstanding event experiences.

Cobo Center is the 17th largest convention center in the United States. Built by the City of Detroit, it was originally opened in 1960 and named Cobo Hall in honor of former Detroit Mayor Albert E. Cobo (1950-1957).
Today, Cobo Center is managed and operated by the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA). The five-member Authority Board consists of one representative from each of five government agencies – the City of Detroit, State of Michigan and the three metro-Detroit counties of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb. 
In October 2010, the DRCFA awarded the contract for operations management of Cobo Center to SMG, the world leader in venue management, marketing and development. 


Cobo Center is among ‘Best in Class’ of regionally and nationally competitive US convention centers in the following key categories:

  • Contiguous exhibition space (623,000 sq ft)
  • 225,000 square feet of breakout and meeting space including 100 meeting rooms
  • Lobby coffee/wine bar
  • Interior flex spaces for work/lounge/networking
  • Outdoor terraces for flex space use
  • Overhead rigging capacity on 10’ grid
  • First for facility-wide, free, high speed Wi-Fi coverage
  • In-house broadcast studio with video editing, satellite uplink and facility-wide fiber network
  • An extensive video board communication system throughout the facility including two giant exterior boards that provide possible shared revenue opportunities for events
  • High end food & beverage presentation capability
  • International access: US Port of Entry – Tunnel to Canada two blocks from facility
  • Detroit riverfront location
  • Cross Canada direct highway connection to East Coast population centers (Western New York, New England)
  • Superior air lift capacity at award winning Detroit Metro Airport (ranked #1 by many industry analysts)
  • Public transport access to downtown shopping attractions and hotels with on-site downtown People Mover station
  • Overall campus on the riverfront includes Hart Plaza, making outdoor festival or special event space easily accessible
  • Since 2010 under new management by industry leaders SMG (overall operations) and Centerplate (food service)
  • Metro Detroit has experience successfully hosting major events including the Super Bowl, MLB All Star Game and World Series, and the NCAA Final Four and Frozen Four – all 5 since 2005! No other city in the US has done that
  • Retail shopping is provided on the concourse of Cobo Center in the Detroit Shoppe, a non-profit agency selling iconic made-in-Detroit brand merchandise. All proceeds go to local charities