DETROIT -- The 2020 North American International Auto Show has been canceled amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
The TCF Center, where the Detroit show was set to take place in June, will be converted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency into a field hospital as COVID-19 cases in Michigan continue to rise.
The next Detroit auto show will be staged in June 2021, according to a memo sent to sponsors obtained by Automotive News.
"The health and welfare of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan is paramount," Rod Alberts, executive director of the show, said in the memo. "TCF Center is the ideal location for this important function at this critical and unprecedented time.”
In a statement released later Saturday, Alberts said: “With the more than 100 convention centers and facilities around the country being considered to potentially serve as temporary hospitals, it became clear to us that TCF Center would be an inevitable option to serve as a care facility to satisfy our community’s urgent health needs."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along with several state and federal agencies began assessing TCF Center on Saturday, according to the Corps' Facebook page in Detroit.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that the Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Emergency Management Agency will convert Detroit's convention center into a 900-bed hospital.
"By mobilizing quickly to construct a large alternate care facility in Detroit, we can help save lives," Whitmer said in a statement.
FEMA will fund construction and operation of the field hospital at TCF Center, Whitmer said.