The 69th Annual Detroit Autorama is off.
Officials said Tuesday that the longstanding hot rod and car culture event, which was to be held April 30-May 2 at its usual location at Detroit's TCF Center, is no longer happening as Michigan's number of COVID-19 cases remain high.
"We have thought long and hard about what the right thing to do is," Peter Toundas, president and owner of show producers Championship Auto Shows Inc., said in a statement. "We want to 'bring back the fun' during such a difficult time, but we do not want to possibly endanger anyone's health."
He added, "As the event dates draw near, we and our partners have mounting concerns specific to the sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. Our greatest wish is that the COVID-19 numbers would begin to trend downward, but this is not the case."
Toundas said that officials considered proceeding with the event with heavy safety restrictions in place, but ultimately decided against it.
"We sense and comprehend the level of discomfort on everyone's part in bringing a large quantity of people into TCF Center under these circumstances," he said. "We are an entertainment venue. As such, we want our audience to be able to relax and enjoy their hobby. With the very tight controls that will be necessary, we are concerned that the experience will be significantly diminished."
Toundas said that they plan on bringing back the event to TCF Center in 2022, however.
"We look forward to once again sharing the beauty and passion of the custom car and hot rod hobby in its birthplace, the Motor City, in 2022." he said. "It is important to the city and the hobby to continue this 69 year tradition."
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