New Nashville Convention Center to Open in May
The Associated Press
April 30, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) " A new convention center in Nashville is transforming the look of downtown with
a wavy roof dominating six city blocks, but tourism officials hope the eye-catching facility will also show
business travelers a revitalized Music City.
The Music City Center has generated heated debate within the city over its $623 million price tag. Critics also contend the city is jumping into an oversaturated market for conventions.
But with an all-star line-up of musicians ready to cut the ribbon on the Music City Center May 20, tourism officials say the facility will build on Nashville's well-known brand, which already attracts leisure travelers. The city has also been relishing positive publicity from ABC's show, Nashville, along with becoming nationally known for restaurants and a growing cultural scene beyond just country music.
The center opening helped drive more restaurants, the TV show created some newfound awareness and at the same time, people are starting to see there is this creative buzz, both musically and through the other creative arts, said Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau chief Butch Spyridon.
The building is about 1.2 million square feet (111,485 square meters) and features a 350,000-square-foot (32,517-square-meter) exhibit hall that's big enough to hold a commercial airliner and allows for tractor trailers to drive right onto the exhibit floor. It also has two ballrooms and about 60 meeting rooms.
One end of the roof features a guitar body-shaped design and the other side has a live-plant roof of succulents designed to resemble rolling green hills. Inside the center's lobby, visitors can scroll through images and hear songs in an interactive exhibit from the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Read the full article online.