The man behind the biggest municipal project in Tennessee history predicted Wednesday "it will be a big success" as showed off his Music City Center creation in a "sneak peek" for Middle Tennessee media.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean had a little help from downtown business interests and approval from the Metro Council in January of 2010, but no one disputes that he's the one who had to put his political capital on the line to make the $585 million dollar Music City Center a reality.
When asked about the bookings of events and conventions at the downtown facility, Mayor Dean said "we are ahead of schedule we will be fine this going
to be a big success"
Music City Center CEO Charles Starks added some more numbers to the Mayor's prediction about convention bookings saying, "the average size we are looking at now is 6500 attendees,
the existing Convention Center is about 1500 attendees."
The media tour was a prelude to the Music City Center Grand Opening festivities on May 19 and 20 where the facility can be viewed by the public.
During the tour, Dean highlighted several features of the 1.2 million square-foot building.
"When you put this together with what's going on with the Hall of Fame [and] put it together with the originality of this building, I think it's the best convention center I have seen in the U.S.," Dean said.
The downtown facility is Nashville's newest landmark covering 19 acres and about six city blocks.
"Unlike a lot of convention centers this building is filled with windows," Dean said on the tour.
Dean added his favorite room of the Music City Center is the majestic ballroom which can hold 6,000 people.
"If I had to pick a room, I think this is the one with the wow factor," he said, adding, "It's a really special place. The sun makes you feel like you're in a guitar. That's the concept here."
The first event is scheduled later this month followed by the massive Country Music Association Fest scheduled for the first week in June.
The facility's construction and operation is funded by bonds issued by Metro Government.
The MCC Web site says "the bonds are payable primarily from tourism-related revenues and incremental sales tax revenues generated in connection with the Music City Center."
For more information on the Music City Center, visit their Web site.