Dec 18, 2013

The first four months of Cobo Center’s Grand Riverview Ballroom events generates $1 million in new revenue

DETROIT December 18, 2013  -- Thom Connors, regional vice president and general manager of SMG/Cobo Center, announced today that Cobo Center’s adaptive re-use renovation of the former Cobo Arena into a 40,000 square-foot ballroom, 30,000 square foot, glass enclosed, three story atrium and 10,000 square-feet of pre-function space overlooking the Detroit river, generated one million dollars in revenue in the first months of operation.

“Clients love the flexibility and dramatic architecture of the space, the theatrical aspects of the ballroom and the inspiring views of the river.” said Connors.  “We are experiencing a significant rise in long and short term bookings for the space, and getting rave reviews from the customers in all respects, especially food and beverage.” 

Included in that million-dollar revenue figure is $800,000 generated by food and beverage sales for banquets, meetings, fundraisers, conferences and tribute events hosted in the ballroom.  "We are extraordinarily proud to welcome guests to this remarkable facility, and to extend unique and high-quality hospitality reflective of the city's spirit," said Jason Hougard, General Manager of Centerplate, the exclusive food and beverage partner to Cobo Center.

Recent events in the Grand Riverview Ballroom and adjacent spaces include: the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s Shimmer on the River; Detroit Economic Club and Inforum Luncheons; Goodfellow’s Breakfast; Cattle Barron’s Ball; Henry Ford Health System’s Night of Stars; Crain’s Detroit Business, SoundBiz Conference; The Benefit, A Celebration to Beat NF; KMPG’s Holiday Party, the Dennis Archer Service Awards, hosted by the MI Bar Association; and the Mayor Bing Tribute Celebration, on December 18.

Conferences alone since the September 7 opening of the new spaces brought almost 100,000 attendees into Cobo Center.  Among these are: Detroit Chamber’s MichAuto; TedX Detroit; Michigan Charter Schools Conference; PricewaterhouseCoopers Talent Transformation Conference; and the National Alliance of Black School Educators.

“We’re off to an excellent start,” said Connors. “Our financial expectations have been met in terms of the value of the new space generating in new business. We are very pleased to report that according to customer survey feedback from attendees and event managers, we have consistently exceeded our client’s expectations. Cobo Center truly is a new center rising.”

About Cobo Center:  With 723,000 square feet of exhibit space, Cobo Center boasts one of the largest contiguous exhibit floor spaces in North America and is the 19th largest convention center in the country.  Visit online at

About SMG:  Since 1977, SMG has provided management services to more than 220 public assembly facilities including arenas, stadiums, theatres and performing arts centers, equestrian facilities and convention, congress and exhibition centers.  Visit for more information.