2020 Detroit auto show canceled; venue to be used as field hospital

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DETROIT — The 2020 North American International Auto Show has been canceled amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic. 

The TCF Center, where the Detroit show was set to take place in June, will be converted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a field hospital as COVID-19 cases in Michigan continue to rise.

The next Detroit auto show will be staged in June 2021, according to a memo sent to sponsors obtained by Automotive News.

“The health and welfare of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan is paramount,” Rod Alberts, executive director of the show, said in the memo. “TCF Center is the ideal location for this important function at this critical and unprecedented time.” 

A spokesman for the show declined to comment. 

The 2020 show, which had been moved from its longtime January slot, was set to take place June 13-20, with press previews starting on June 9. Instead, show organizers said, the event will begin on June 11, 2021, with the Motor Bella European street car festival. Press preview days will take place June 15-16, while the public days will run from June 19-26. 

FEMA has chosen TCF Center, in downtown Detroit, to serve as a field hospital under contract for the next six months as COVID-19 cases swell in Michigan, according to the memo sent to show sponsors. 

The federal government took similar actions in New York in recent days, where the Javits Center has been converted into a hospital. The New York auto show, scheduled for April, was earlier postponed until August.

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