2020 Detroit auto show canceled as venue is converted into temporary field hospital

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This year was supposed to mark the North American International Auto Show’s new June event in Detroit, since show officials changed the longstanding January date traditionally held at the beginning of the auto show season. Instead, the 2020 show is canceled. According to an official statement from NAIAS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is planning to convert the show’s venue—the TCF Center, formerly known as Cobo Hall—into a temporary field hospital to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” said NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts. “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.”

According to the Facebook page for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, various government officials were on location at the TCF Center over the weekend planning next steps for the repurpose plan. Yesterday, the Corps announced that FEMA issued its official assignment for the alternate care facility: “USACE is well underway in its coordination and planning efforts to adapt more than 250,000 square feet of the convention facility into medical care space.”

Those who purchased tickets for the 2020 NAIAS (whether for the public show, the industry preview, or the charity preview) will have the option to receive a refund or donate their paid fees to one of the nine organizations designated in the charity preview list of beneficiaries. Plans are moving forward for the June 2021 NAIAS in Detroit.

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