TCF announces renaming of Cobo Center as TCF Center

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After six decades, one of Detroit's most famous buildings has a new name as TCF Bank announced Cobo Center will now be known as TCF Center.

"Today the convention center turns a page and from now on this center will bear the name of an institution that is committed to rebuilding the city for everybody," said Mayor Mike Duggan.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, officials announced the new name for Cobo Center. The announcement was followed by a block party outside the center. 

The block party will start at about 11:30 a.m. and go until 6 p.m. It will include food, games and entertainment. DDOT buses are also offering free rides from its downtown runs to get people to the block party. 

The chairman of TCF Bank, Gary Torgow, founded his bank ten years ago. It eventually expanded and became Chemical Bank. Earlier this year, Chemical Bank acquired the naming rights to Cobo in a $33 million, 22-year deal. Chemical Bank then merged with TCF National Bank. 

"Today, a name from the past comes down and we proudly and honorably replace it with a name that stands for inclusion and everyone associated with it," Torgow said.

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"I'm excited about the name change for a great facility and a great city," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

The Cobo name has long been associated with a racist past and the convention center's $5 million in state subsidies is running out, so it was only logical that selling the naming rights was going to happen. 

Dr. Wendell Anthony was the final dignitary to speak on the name change. He said it was both historic and important, saying it marks a new beginning for the arena and for the city of Detroit.

"What's in a name? Quite frankly, everything," Dr. Anthony said. "The name Cobo was not one that brought a level of respect for all Detroiters. It reminds us of an era we seek to keep in the past, never to be resurrected."

In August 1960, Cobo opened its doors. Since then, it has had visits from every sitting President and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who first delivered his "I have a Dream" speech at Cobo before giving it 6 weeks later in Washington.