2020 Detroit Auto Show canceled; TCF Center to turn into hospital during COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 7:00 PM, Mar 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 17:36:58-04

The 2020 North American International Auto Show has been canceled and the TCF Center, formerly known as Cobo, will be turned into a hospital to help in the fight against the coronavirus.

“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 said in a release.

“We will be ready to unleash this energy and enthusiasm when June 2021 rolls around to produce the absolute best show and experience ever. We look forward to literally redefining the auto show landscape with fresh ideas and innovative opportunities for mobility activations and partnerships,” North said.

"We fully support NAIAS organizers in their postponement. The health and safety of our community and those working throughout the industry is our top priority. We look forward to seeing the show’s return in 2021," Ford said in a statement.

FCA added, "We understand and support the decision, at this difficult time."

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

June 2021 dates are:

– Motor Bella: Friday, June 11 – Monday, June 14
– The Gallery: Monday, June 14
– Press Preview: Tuesday, June 15 – Wednesday, June 16
– AutoMobili-D Powered by PlanetM: Tuesday, June 15 – Thursday, June 17
– Industry Preview: Wednesday, June 16 – Thursday, June 17
– Charity Preview: Friday, June 18
– Public Show: Saturday, June 19 – Saturday, June 26

There are now 111 deaths and 4,650 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Michigan, state officials announced Saturday.

That's up from 92 deaths and 3,657 cases that were reported on Friday. Detroit has the largest number of positive cases in the state: 1,377.

This is the first year the auto show was scheduled to happen in June, after moving from January in 2019. There were plans to have major outdoor activities as part of the event, including an entire area along the Riverfront and at Hart Plaza.

"The State of Michigan is working around the clock and doing everything we can to slow the spread of the coronavirus," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in statement released Sunday afternoon. "We are proud to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and the TCF Center to expand capacity in Detroit. By mobilizing quickly to construct a large alternate care facility in Detroit, we can help save lives."

The TCF Center will have 900 bed spaces.

This is the latest of major events postponed or canceled around the world, and in metro Detroit. Movement Festival, normally scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, was moved to September.

Other auto shows including those in New York, Geneva and Beijing were canceled or postponed.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.