Dear Crabby, What Will the New Name be for Cobo Hall?

Dear Crabby, What Will the New Name be for Cobo Hall?

Sincerely, Buku Bucks


Dear Buku,

I think your name gives us a hint of where to look – the “beaucoup bucks” for the naming rights – it’s all about the money, follow the money, cash is king, etc. It’s always about the money. Now, they’ll tell you that it’s because of the mayor for which the complex was named, Albert Cobo, who said racist comments while he was the Detroit mayor from 1950-1957. And while he was no friend to the black community, most people don’t pay much attention to who those legacy-named sites are named after … until now. And now is the time to do something about!

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So, we’ve rehashed his deeds and taught a new generation who Cobo was. By the way, he died in office in 1957 … maybe karma? Anyway, this would not have been rehashed if there wasn’t a way to capitalize on it. And naming rights is how they’re doing it.

Chemical Bank purchased the naming rights and because they are in the midst of a merger with TCF Financial Corporation the exact “new name” has not been finalized. But you can bet it will have “Chemical” or “TCF” somewhere in the name. In fact, the two possibilities are Chemical Bank Center and TCF Center. The official announcement will come by the end of the year and will likely be the later.

With the inevitable demolition of Joe Louis Arena, many thought the name should be changed to “Joe Louis Center,” and that would be fine. But I’m a fan of place, so my vote (that doesn’t amount to hill of beans) would be something like the “Detroit Regional Conference Center” – you’ve got where it is and what it does right in the name – but that doesn’t make anyone any money.

So, for the next 22 years at $1.5 million per year, Chemical Bank will shell out $33 million – an industry record. The old Cobo sign is down and the city of Detroit is continuing to remove all signage with the Cobo name on it (it only took 50 years to do, but hey, there’s money to be had now). Much like Pine Knob or Crittenton Hospital, I imagine many will still call it Cobo Center or Cobo Hall (the previous name).

And for, say $34 million, you could name it “Buku Bucks Center” after you – which makes just as much sense to me.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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