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Monday, December 14, 2020

Looks like Detroit's TCF Center is being renamed again

Posted By on Mon, Dec 14, 2020 at 10:03 AM

click to enlarge Detroit's TCF Center. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Detroit's TCF Center.

The venue known as TCF Center and formerly known as Cobo Center will be renamed... again.

On Sunday, Detroit-based TCF Financial Corp. announced a $22 billion all-stock merger with Columbus-based Huntington Bancshares Inc., The Detroit News reports. Once the merger is complete, the TCF brand will be replaced with Huntington, TCF executive chairman Gary Torgow said.

That includes the TCF Center in downtown Detroit, which will be renamed Huntington Center under the same $33 million, 22-year naming rights deal that renamed the venue last year.

Mayor Mike Duggan started talking about renaming Cobo Center in 2017 following the violent clash over a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Virginia. While Detroit doesn't have monuments to the Confederacy, it did have a racist legacy in Cobo, named after mayor Albert Cobo, whose segregationist policies demolished the predominantly Black neighborhoods of Black Bottom and Paradise Valley.

Perhaps the TCF Center name is already tarnished as well. The venue was supposed to host the North American International Auto Show's first-ever show in a new springtime format that would have seen an expansion that would have given more prominence to Detroit's auto industry show, but that was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, TCF Center became a field hospital for COVID-19 patients, though it only ever operated at far below capacity.

More recently, the venue made national headlines when it was used as an absentee ballot counting facility and stormed by supporters of President Donald Trump during the November election, who interrupted the process with baseless allegations of a rigged election.

Perhaps TCF Center has one last chance to redeem itself: The city of Detroit selected it to serve as the primary site for drive-thru COVID-19 vaccinations.

The venue first opened in 1960 as Cobo Hall.

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