NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Friday morning, Nashville government and health officials held their daily press update on COVID-19. Among the many questions asked by Nashville reporters, one seemed to stand out: do you think big events will ever happen again in Nashville?
Dr. Alex Jahangir of the Metro COVID-19 Task Force gave an answer few people expected
“The short answer is yes. One day we hope to do that,” Jahangir said.
But, he cautioned that those events would only go on after very specific achievement, “When there is a vaccine.”
Jahangir predicts it could take 12 to 18 months for a vaccine to be developed, which puts large events like Let Freedom Sing and New Year’s Eve in jeopardy.
“July 4th and New Year’s Eve are worth $20-$25 million each in direct spending, no multipliers, no enhancements,” said Butch Spyridon, President, and CEO of Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau. “That is direct infusion of cash.”
That means more than $50 million in tourism revenue is now at stake, and Spyridon is left to decide how to proceed. Should he scale back those events? Or cancel them all together?
“If we do it small and it blows up in our face, we’re being locked down for many more months, and nobody wants that. I’m not sure we can handle that,” Spyridon explained.
Spyridon plans to make a final decision on 4th of July events by mid May.