Michigan lawmakers seek to help resurrect the Detroit auto show after as much as a 44-month hiatus.
The state legislative body is expected to pass a $795 million spending bill, containing a $9 million onetime grant for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Detroit hasn't hosted an auto show since January 2019. The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) canceled NAIAS in June 2020 and September 2021 because of the ongoing pandemic.
DADA hopes to hold the auto show at Huntington Place, the new name of Detroit's riverfront convention center (formerly TCF Center and Cobo Center), Sept. 14-25, 2022, (though the dates are not final).
"This [funding] is to help them … get them up and running again," House Appropriations Committee Chairman Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, told Crain's Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News. "It's really important for the state of Michigan."
The auto show attracts international media and auto executives from across the globe and generates an estimated $400 million in economic impact in the state’s hospitality, travel and construction sectors.
DADA Executive Director Rod Alberts said in a statement that DADA is “pleased state leaders have recognized the hardships and difficulties the show has faced over the past couple of years — hardships directly related to COVID.”
"While each previous show has funded, the next show — a nearly 3-year void led us to ask for direct support from the state of Michigan," Alberts said. "The one-time funding will help put the show back on strong financial footing and go toward making a 2022 show the best one yet — showcasing all things Michigan offers on the automotive front."
The lack of an auto show also damaged the financial stability of Detroit’s convention center. The Legislature has appropriated $36 million in state aid over six years to help the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority make up the losses sustained during the pandemic.