Detroit is a team sport

Share this:

Seven years ago, Downtown Detroit Partnership Board Member Bill Ford Jr., president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, took a leap and opened the doors to Michigan Central for a Detroit Homecoming dinner. At the time, the building did not have plumbing or electricity. It was a magical dinner that kicked off dreams of possibilities.

Last week, he along with the Michigan Central team opened it up to the world. Michigan Central’s Grand Opening was an example of everything that is great about Detroit: the talent, the passion, the creativity, the people, and hands down the best city for a great party. Talk about making dreams possible.

When you walk into Michigan Central, it takes your breath away. I’m not alone in saying the project elicits a sense of pride and joy. For decades, before it was abandoned, Michigan Central Station was the gateway for many to get their first start in Detroit. It now represents a new start for our city and an engine for innovation and transformation that will benefit the entire state.

While the planners expected the opening to be big, the energy and excitement surrounding this historic renovation are beyond all expectations—and for good reason.

The first thing you notice is that this was a team effort, and the team poured their hearts into this project. As we’ve learned through the news coverage, they faced numerous challenges that would have sent many less devoted running. But they did not, and Detroit and Michigan are better for it.

This is not just a restoration. It’s a symbol of our city’s resilience and determination. It’s part of a larger story that is only getting better and better.

Detroit’s stock continues to rise. In the last six months, we witnessed an unfathomable amount of attention, starting with the Detroit Lions, that led right into the NFL Draft. From there, Campus Martius was named the country’s #1 public square, and we enjoyed another record-breaking Detroit Grand Prix with Michigan Central just a week later. Each of these received national and international attention through broadcasts and streaming. Sprinkled in between were several inclusions in various print and online publications’ “best places to visit” lists.

What I love is that we’re not sitting back and taking it all in. Teams are planning and pitching big events, increasing our hotel room inventory, opening new businesses, and planning critical infrastructure projects.

It is more important than ever that we execute these projects with a unified vision to do what’s best for the city of Detroit and its residents and businesses.

The world is watching. Let’s set an example that shows Detroit is a team sport. At the end of the day, we’re all in it together.

Related Articles

Study area

CEO Blog

Planning Ahead: Let’s Make Sure We Get I-375 Right

By: Eric B. Larson, CEO, Downtown Detroit Partnership A few months ago, the Downtown Detroit Partnership received funding from the Kresge Foundation to conduct a deep dive into the I-375 . . .

CEO Blog

The Story of the NFL Draft in Detroit

We now know the Draft in Detroit was a huge success. We shattered the attendance record. Many are predicting we will shatter the economic impact of previous drafts. The OnePass . . .

CEO Blog

DDP in 2024: The First 100 Days

I know we generally reserve this type of retrospective for elected leaders, particularly first-timers, but since January 1, within the Downtown Detroit Partnership, there has been a whirlwind of activity nothing short of astounding. The . . .