Proclaiming it to be “the next step towards Nashville’s Future”, Metro Mayor Karl Dean and an assemblage of prominent local business owners held a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony today to mark the beginning of construction for an as-yet unnamed convention center, to ultimately be built on top of the new Music City Center convention facility which opens this weekend.
“As its construction nears completion, we feel that the brand-new Music City Center has outlived its usefulness” explained Dean. “We have to remain on the cutting-edge of Convention Center design if we want to be competitive with other major markets, and the MCC’s plans are now over three years old. This place is practically antiquated, and that’s why we’re already looking to the future.”
The Music City Center (or MCC), a fourteen-acre complex which spans a space in SoBro between 5th and 8th Avenues, is scheduled to open this weekend amidst a great deal of fanfare. The two-day celebration will include performances by Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, and the Time Jumpers, as well as a fireworks display. The convention complex is pursuing a LEED-certification for its energy-efficient construction techniques, such as a full acre of solar panels, a water retention/recycling system, and a green roof with 175,000 square-feet of actual grass growing atop it. The MCC hopes to become a major draw for corporate conventions and lure copious tourist dollars to Metro Davidson County. In doing so, the MCC supplants the Nashville Convention Center as the area’s primary convention option, which was itself a 1987 replacement for Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium (built in 1962) as the go-to convention spot.
However, Nashville business owners feel that it’s already time to begin work on the Music City Center’s eventual replacement, and today’s groundbreaking marks the first step in that direction.
“History has shown that Nashville’s convention complexes don’t last forever, so we’re just going ahead and getting started on the next one now rather than procrastinating” noted Nashville Chamber of Commerce representative Howie Jackson. “We know we’ll need another one in 25 or 30 years, so why put off building it until then?” When asked why the groundbreaking for the still-unnamed future convention complex was held on the roof of the new Music City Center, Jackson explained “This is such a wonderful location for a convention center that we’ll just build the next one on top of it. What could be better than that? The green roof has even given us actual ground to break; it’s perfect!”
Downtown Nashville image found at http://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/insidedores/manage/wp-content/uploads/nashville.jpg. Ceremonial shovel image found at http://www.uu.edu/photos/20087-45.jpg. Aerial view of Music City Center found at http://www.nashvillemusiccitycenter.com/about/. Nashville Convention Center photo found at http://www.nashville.com/nashville_convention_center/, Municipal Auditorium photo found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NashvilleMunicipalAuditorium.jpg.