Tuesday, January 06, 2004

A Public-Private Partnership for a New Convention Center?

The Detroit Auto show is well nigh upon us.

Hosted at Cobo Hall in Detroit, this expo of Automobiles is quite a sight to behold.

However, the Auto Manufacturers and exhibitors want more space and either want Cobo to be expanded from its current 700,000 square feet or as reported in the Detroit News, a new convention center built. . . With public money of course.

Oakland County Exec Bruce Patterson shot down the idea of a tri-county area increase in sales taxes to pay for it, noting the public is still paying off the original Cobo Hall.

Nevermind the original Cobo Hall still hasn't paid itself off. While a one million square foot convention center may be nice to have, what use will it be if its only used for three weeks during the Auto Show? After all if the Exhibitors want it or need it, shouldn't they cover the cost and own it, rather than saddling the public with a new downtown albatross?

Bottom line: Whenever someone says it will be a public-private partnership, hang on to your wallets.

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