NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A new convention center for downtown Nashville is one step closer to reality.
The Metro Council Tuesday night passed the second of three readings to purchase land for $635 million Music City Center.
Before the meeting, city leaders in support of the convention center held a rally on the lawn of the Metro courthouse.
Downtown merchants, hotel employees and business leaders have long argued the convention center is needed because the city of Nashville is losing millions in tourism dollars by not having a large enough space for conventions.
Kix Brooks of country duo Brooks & Dunn is also in support of the new center.
"There's so much riding on this," he said. "You can't expect to compete with the other major cities that are getting all the conventions without a facility that's competitive."
Brooks has performed at past CMA Music Festivals downtown and will perform again at this summer's festival.
"Our festival is a perfect example," he said. "You put 30,000 people in here at a music festival and you dump $23 million real dollars into the hotels, into the clubs, into the stores... It's just economy. And we're not going to have that if this doesn't happen."
The Music City Center would be built on 15 acres in downtown Nashville, stretching from 5th Avenue to 8th Avenue, and from Demonbreun to Korean Veteran Parkway.
The third reading for the land acquisition will take place in two weeks.
If it passes, the final hurdle is to approve a finance package.