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Feb 20, 2020

Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority Reports $108.6 Million in Savings for State Taxpayers; World-Class Huntington Place Signals Positive Financial Progress

DETROIT – February 20, 2020  The Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) announced that on February 3, 2020 it defeased $25,150,000 of its outstanding debt which will save the state’s taxpayers $17,016,000 over the life of the bonds. Since its inception in 2009, the DRCFA has saved Michigan taxpayers an estimated $108.6 million through effective management of financial resources. DRCFA is reporting strong financial progress for the world-class Huntington Place in downtown Detroit with a focus toward becoming a self-sustaining facility by 2024.


“With more than a decade of remarkable success for the DRCFA, we are driven to work with our partners for growth in tourism revenues, tax dollars and jobs for our region,” said Larry Alexander, Chairman of the Board, DRCFA. “The interest in our city and Huntington Place is unprecedented and positions us well on the national and international stage, projecting continuous growth and a valuable return to our state taxpayers.” 


Over the past four years, the Convention Facility Development Fund (CFDF) has generated excess funds that are dedicated to the early retirement of debt according to the terms of the DRCFA’s enabling legislation. During this time, the DRCFA has used excess CFDF proceeds to retire $79,160,000 in outstanding bond principal, saving state’s taxpayers $56,574,438 million. Combined with an estimated $30 million saved by the financing structure employed for the renovation of the Huntington Place and $22 million saved from the defeasance of the 2003 bonds that were inherited from the City of Detroit, the DRCFA has saved state’s taxpayers an estimated $108.6 million from strong financial management. This equates to 38.5 percent of the $282.3 million the DRCFA has received since its inception.


“We are extremely pleased with the progress being made toward paying down the bonds and the significant benefit it brings to the state taxpayers,” said Patrick Bero, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, DRCFA. “Our goal has always been to save Michigan taxpayers money by paying off the bonds ahead of schedule and making the Huntington Place financially viable. We continue to attract regional and international events to Detroit by providing a world-class venue with superior customer service for all of our guests.” 


The DRCFA completed a $279 million renovation and upgrade to Huntington Place on time and within budget in August 2015. As a result of the renovation, Huntington Place has become more accessible, spacious and efficient in its use of space. The world-class convention center now offers spectacular views of the Detroit River and Canada, multiple new entrances, increased parking, public art and improved traffic flow to enhance the visitor experience. Since the renovation, Huntington Place has experienced a record number of bookings. 


Located downtown on the beautiful Detroit Riverfront, Huntington Place is one of the largest convention centers in the nation and hosts nearly 1.3 million visitors annually. Huntington Place will host 209 events in 2020, including the North American International Auto Show in June. 


About Huntington Place

With 723,000 square feet of exhibit space, Huntington Place, formerly 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


About the DRCFA 

On 9/15/09, operational control of Huntington Place 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 the appointee of the Governor of the State of Michigan and serves as Chairman of the Board. For more information visit:


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Media Contacts:

Heather George, 313-832-2210, 248-417-5773 (mobile),





DRCFA Contact Information
Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority
1 Washington Blvd, Suite 401
Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: 313-877-8777

Media Inquiries

All media inquiries should be directed to:
Sara Campbell
Lovio George Communications + Design