Detroit center removes name of ex-mayor with racist past

Cobo Center outside from the sky

A Jan, 14, 2019 photo shows the former Cobo Center, now known as the TCF Center, during the North American International Auto Show reveal week. (WDIV)

DETROIT (AP) — The home of Detroit’s annual auto show and other major events has officially changed its name to the TCF Center and moved on from its original name, which honored a former mayor known for racist and segregationist policies.

Officials on Tuesday announced that the Cobo Center is no more. The change follows the February announcement of a $33 million naming rights deal with Chemical Bank, now a division of TCF Bank.

Officials have said the name change will save taxpayers millions of dollars and move the riverfront facility toward being financially self-sustaining. It had been owned and operated by the city until 2009, when a regional authority was created.

Officials also say a name change will stop honoring a negative aspect of Detroit’s history. Albert Cobo, who served as mayor from 1950 to 1957, sought to keep blacks out of predominantly white neighborhoods.

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