Nashville has a long and successful history as a convention and tourism destination, with visitors to “Music City, USA” serving as a vital and integral part of our spirit and our economy.
While the Music City Center is most obviously about the brick-and-mortar facility to serve our guests, it will also serve as the city’s front porch, located in the heart of downtown Nashville. It will be a gathering spot for hundreds of thousands of visitors seeing our city for the first time, just steps from the Ryman Auditorium and the Broadway honky tonks, the musical venues that have launched thousands of careers and help generate the city’s nickname.
The new convention center will not just host visitors, but serve as a central meeting point for Nashville’s residents. A wide green pavilion will encircle the building on all sides, calling Nashvillians to enjoy the area’s newest landmark and serve as public space for art and music.
In addition to building a quality convention center Nashville’s residents can be proud of, our focus is on:
- A safe and healthy work environment;
- Providing jobs to local workers;
- Ensuring minority, women-owned, and small businesses have opportunities;
- Environmental sustainability;
- Public art.
In 2004, Metro Nashville released a study recommending the construction of additional convention space, either through expansion of the existing Nashville Convention Center or development of a new downtown convention center.
The Music City Center Committee was formed to study both possibilities, and in February 2006, presented a report demonstrating the best option would be to build a new convention center – one large enough to accommodate 75 percent of the nation’s convention and visitor market.
The project gained momentum after Karl Dean was elected Mayor in September 2007. Dean announced, early in his tenure, one of his priorities was seeing the construction of a new downtown convention center come to fruition.
Dean, with the support of the Music City Center Coalition, a broad coalition including business leaders, grassroots community activists, and many, many Nashville residents, presented the case to the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County.
In January 2010, the Council overwhelmingly voted to approve construction of the Music City Center.
The official groundbreaking for the Music City Center was held March 22, 2010, and the new building is slated to open in early 2013.
The Music City Center
The Music City Center sits just south of Broadway on a 16-acre site that runs from 5th Avenue to 8th Avenue, west to east, and from Demonbreun Street to Franklin Street, or the future Korean Veterans Boulevard, north to south. It is adjacent to both the Bridgestone Arena and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The building will be 1.2 million square feet, featuring a 350,000 square foot exhibit hall, a 57,000 grand ballroom and 18,000 square foot junior ballroom, and about 1,800 parking spaces. It also offers 90,000 square feet of meeting room space – approximately 60 meeting rooms - and 32 loading docks that provide ultimate flexibility and ease of loading in and out for convention planners.
Designed by Atlanta-based Thompson, Ventulett, and Stainback Associates and Nashville-based Tuck Hinton Architects and Moody-Nolan Architects, the convention center is on track to be certified Silver Level LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Features key to the building’s LEED status include a 360,000 gallon retention tank. Run-off water stored in the tank will be used to irrigate the four-acre green roof and outside landscaping and to flush the building’s hundreds of toilets.
The convention center has been designed to be Nashville’s next landmark building, marked by an extensive outdoor border of green space adjacent to the Country Music Hall of Fame, suitable for outdoor concerts and events. Both the exterior and interior will feature public art components.
Korean Veterans Boulevard is also slated to be extended along the southern border of the Music City Center, and will feature a broad median marked by plantings of trees and grass, culminating in a roundabout at 8th Avenue.
The Operations Team
Project & Development Staff for the Convention Center Authority
Larry A. Atema, Senior Project and Development Manager
Roxianne Bethune, Manager, Diversity Business Enterprise
Steve Curtis, Associate Project Manager, Construction & Finance
Thaddeus Dukes, Associate Project Engineer
Kristen Heggie, Manager, Development & Construction Logistics & Analysis
Edward Henley, Associate Project Manager, Construction & Finance
Patrick Holcombe, Manager, Construction Analysis, Budget, & Finance
Ryan Johnson, Manager, Budget, Finance, & Administration
Holly McCall, Manager, Communications
Jasmine Quattlebaum, Supervisor, Accounting & Contract Administration
Mark Sturtevant, Project and Development Manager
Mike White, Project Manager, Construction Compliance & Quality