Detroit Cobo Center to change name; removes racist past and generates revenue

Posted at 11:21 AM, Feb 20, 2019

DETROIT (AP) — Officials say Detroit’s Cobo Center will change its name, removing the surname of a former mayor known for his racist policies.

The Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority announced Wednesday that it has sold Cobo Center’s naming rights to Detroit-based Chemical Bank in a 22-year deal that will generate $1.5 million annually.

The new name will be announced later this year, after Chemical Bank’s holding company acquires another financial institution .

Authority Chairman Larry Alexander says he sees the move as “killing two birds with one stone” — making a smart financial decision that saves taxpayers’ money while removing “negative history and connotation.”

Albert Cobo, who served as mayor from 1950 to 1957, sought to keep blacks out of predominantly white neighborhoods. The convention center opened downtown in 1960.