Detroit's North American International Auto Show this year drew 815,575 in total ticketed attendance, event organizers said late Sunday.
That topped last year’s 803,451, and continues the attendance upswing after a dip during the recession that saw the total number of visitors drop to 650,517 in 2009.
The attendance record is 838,066 from 2003.
The auto show, organized by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, also drew 5,068 credential media from 60 countries during the media preview Jan. 11-12.
Following the media previews was the industry preview, which show organizers said drew a record 39,788 visitors from 2,000 companies and 25 countries.
The annual black-tie Charity Preview on Jan. 15 drew 13,075 attendees and grossed $5.2 million to benefit eight Southeast Michigan children’s charities, show officials said. That event included a performance by '80s rockers Huey Lewis and The News on Cobo Center’s atrium stage.
Among the celebrity visitors to this year's show were President Barack Obama and members of the Detroit Tigers.
Show organizers say the uptick in visitors was at least partially fueled by more than 70 percent of the displays being redesigned this year after $200 million in spending by automakers and suppliers.
Show organizers said the 2016 North American International Auto Show generated $430 million worth of economic activity for the regional economy, up $25 million from 2015. The figure, whose formula wasn’t disclosed, comes from economist David Sowerby, the portfolio manager in the Bloomfield Hills office of Loomis Sayles & Co.
The event traces its roots to December 1907, when DADA’s first Detroit Auto Show was staged at Riverview Park with 17 exhibitors. It took its current name in 1989, and now has more than 60 exhibitors.
A federal ban on new auto sales during World War II put the auto show on hiatus from 1941-53. It moved to Cobo in 1965.