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Cobo Center Announces an Additional $2 Million Technology Upgrade

Cobo stays ahead of the curve with a network upgrade to support 10Gb broadband offering

Claude Molinari, general manager of SMG/Cobo Center in Detriot, recently announced an additional two million-dollar technology upgrade. The work includes the installation of 60 intermediate distribution frames (IDF) throughout the center that will support and enhance the 10-gigabyte (Gb) broadband network now offered to customers in Cobo Center.

“We are creating a network that will accommodate the largest technology power-using events in the industry,” said Molinari. He added, “We are particularly going after e-sports events and trade shows with augmented reality or virtual reality exhibits, expecting them to be a wave of the future.”

Cobo’s broadband supplier, Rocket Fiber, is Detroit’s newest broadband company, boasting the fastest Internet in the world. The company created a hub on Cobo Center’s property during the initial build-out of its fiber infrastructure, much of which is trenched along the new QLINE streetcar system that became operational in downtown Detroit May 12. The Cobo hub will create a fiber pipeline into the facility that will offer 10Gbbroadband, enough for any high-tech event in operation currently. The increased number of IDFs allow for a more complex, flexible and robust system, fully customizable to meet the needs of any event. Bandwidth usage up to 40GB is now built into the system for future adaptation.

“Our Technology Services Department is an area that will always require ongoing upgrades,” said Larry Alexander, chairman of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, the governing body of Cobo Center. “We are constantly analyzing the industry for current trends and making every needed adjustment to stay ahead of the curve.”

Recent technology upgrades also created a captive WiFi portal and provides the opportunity for events to have a custom splash page that can be sponsored and create revenue opportunity for show managers. The entire Cobo Center network is supported with full redundancy to allow maintenance on the system without any interruption to service.

“With the recent upgrades, our Technology Services Department can now customize a network for the most tech-hungry events on the planet,” said Molinari. “We are ready to welcome events and visitors to the future in Cobo Center.”

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 17th largest convention center in the country. Visit online at www.cobocenter.com or CoboTech.

About SMG: Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to 233 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening service. For more information, visit www.smgworld.com.

About the DRCFA: On 9/15/09, operational control of Cobo Center transferred to the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, under a collaborative agreement by the Michigan State Legislature, the City of Detroit, and Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Each of these entities has an appointed member on the DRCFA Board. Larry Alexander is chairman the Board as the member appointed by the Governor of the State of Michigan. For more information visit: http://www.drcfa.org/


Cobo Facts

Overview: 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. The 40,000 square-foot Grand Riverview Ballroom has a stage lift and more than 100 meeting and banquet rooms comprise 225,000 square feet meeting space.

These are exciting times for Cobo Center. The Detroit Regional Convention Authority has embarked on a $279 million upgrade that will transform Cobo into a state-of-the-art facility that will be enjoyed for years to come. It includes 8,000 sq. ft. kitchen with tasting room. The DRCFA is a partnership between the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan, and the counties of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb. It reflects southeast Michigan’s commitment to Cobo Center’s future and its clients. Visit online at www.cobocenter.com.

Locations: Cobo Center is a world-class meeting and convention facility, located along a beautifully restored international riverfront in the heart of a vibrant downtown Detroit.

Services: New 40,000 square-foot ballroom & 30,000 sq. ft. three-story glass atrium; 200,000 square-feet of flex space including exterior terraces; full service convention and exhibition space that includes full facility, free WiFi Broadcast studio with sound stage and satellite uplink capability; two giant exterior video screens to promote events; rogrammable video displays outside every meeting room; hospitality services including information and business service center; full service executive meeting, conference and banquet rooms; Detroit People Mover station located inside Cobo Center; food and beverage service by Centerplate; Green Meetings Industry Council APEX/ASTM certified facility

Major Shows: North America International Auto Show www.naias.com/; Shell Eco-marathon www.shell.com/; Autorama www.autorama.com; Detroit Boat Show www.boatmichigan.org/

Executive: Claude Molinari, general manager, Cobo Center/SMG

Regional Authority: Larry Alexander, chairman by Michigan State governor appointment; Waymon Guillebeaux, Mayor of City of Detroit appointment; Joseph Abdoo, Macomb County Board of Commissioners appointment; Lisa Canada, Wayne County Executive appointment; Michael Carroll, Oakland County Executive appointment

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