FAST FACTS from the Detroit CVB
WHY DETROIT ROCKS
- Home of Kid Rock. More than 50 major entertainment, literary, and sport figures made Motown their hometown — from Tim Allen to Stevie Wonder.
Home of the Motown sound founded by Berry Gordy Jr.
- Birthplace of Techno Music and home of Movement: Electronic Music Festival.
- The Detroit Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival in the world.
- Detroit is among the largest theater districts in the country with over 13,000 theater seats. Major Broadway productions, top headliner entertainers, opera, dance, symphony, and other performing arts light up marquees.
- Detroit is a great sports town with the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions and Detroit Red Wings playing downtown, and the Detroit Pistons in Oakland County.
Detroit Tigers roared to become the American League Baseball champs again in 2011.
- Detroit is Hockeytown USA with 11 Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup championships.
- Home of three major casino complexes in the downtown area: Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit and Motor City Casino.
- Detroit’s Corktown, Greektown and Mexicantown districts offer up a menu of authentic foods and spirits. That’s just part of downtown Detroit’s more than 100 restaurants, bars and clubs.
WHY DETROIT IS MOTOR CITY
- Detroit is headquarters for Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors and hundreds of tier one and two suppliers.
- It is home of the North American International Auto Show, with more than 500 vehicles on display representing more than 50 world-wide companies.
- In 1896 Henry Ford built his first car in Detroit.
- The world’s first concrete road was built in Detroit in 1901.
- In 1913 Henry Ford introduced an improved assembly line, revolutionizing the auto industry.
- Detroit’s Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is the birthplace of the Model T. Today, it is the only example of an early Detroit auto factory open to visitors.
- Detroit is home of the nation’s first urban freeway, the Davison, completed in 1942.
- Metro Detroit is home of the auto barons. Historic homes include Fair Lane (Henry and Clara Ford); Fisher Mansion (Lawrence Fisher), Ford House (Edsel & Eleanor Ford); and Meadow Brook Hall (Matilda Dodge Wilson).
- Home of the world’s largest tire, 12 ton and 80 feet tall. It was originally built as a Ferris Wheel for the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
WHY DETROIT INSPIRES
- Detroit is known for one of the richest collections of late 19th-century, ethnic-based churches in the country.
- Belle Isle, the nation’s largest island park within a city, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, landscape architect of New York’s Central Park.
- The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. made the debut of his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech at Cobo Center in Detroit two months before its famous delivery in Washington, D.C.
- The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the largest museum of its kind in the world.
- Detroit’s Cultural Center is home to the Detroit Institute of Arts, and its collection is among the top six in the United States.
WHY DETROIT HAS BRAGGING RIGHTS
- Detroit shares an international waterway with Windsor, Ontario, Canada. And Canada is south of Detroit.
- The nation’s first soda drink, Vernor’s, was created by pharmacist James Vernor in 1862.
- Detroit was the first city in the nation to assign individual telephone numbers in 1879.
- The world’s first convention and visitors bureau — the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau was founded in 1901.
- The world’s first auto traffic tunnel between two nations — the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel; opened in 1928 below the Detroit River.
- Detroiter Joe Louis Barrow — The Brown Bomber — won the world’s heavyweight boxing championship in 1937.
- The nation’s first shopping mall, Northland Mall, opened in Southfield in 1957.
- The Marriott at the Renaissance Center is the tallest hotel in North America. When it was opened in 1977, it was the tallest hotel in the world.
- Detroit is the potato chip capital of the world, based on consumption.
- Home to the world’s only floating post office, the J.W. Westcott II, serving international freighters on the Detroit River.
Detroit has the most registered bowlers in the United States.