NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Music City Center is set to open its doors in seven months, but that's not soon enough for two major conventions. They're choosing new locations and that's costing the company that oversees the project more than half a million dollars.
After many months, the Music City Center is forming into the huge attraction many supporters said would bring big conventions and money to Nashville.
Months before the doors open on the $585 million convention center, two groups, the American Trucking Association and the Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association, decided to go elsewhere.
The reason, the Music City Center will not be open before their March 2013 convention dates.
"We did offer the opportunity to those shows to come ahead in March, but just knowing that there would still probably be a little bit of work going on," said director of communication of the Music City Center Holly McCall.
The Music City Center isn't scheduled to open before May 2013, so why did the center agree to book them a month before?
"These shows were booked back in June of 2009," said McCall. "That's when metro council originally looked at voting on the convention center. They ended up not voting on the convention center until January 2010, which set us back 7 months."
Out of the two shows, the Trucking Association will stay in the area holding its event at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center
The Hearth Patio and Barbecue has moved its plans to Florida, but Nashville didn't totally lose out on that deal.
"Ultimately they decided they rather go to Orlando in 2013 and come back to us in 2015 and 2018 when the building is done, but then they also scheduled an additional two shows, in 2021 and 2024," said McCall.
Since the Music City Center wasn't able to uphold its end of the contract, $678,000 was paid to both companies.
"They've already promoted the shows, so if it makes them happier and they will come back if we reimburse them for some of the costs they set aside, I think in the end, it's going to be a good thing," said McCall."
The money paid to both associations came from a surplus from the tourist and tax revenue-- not money paid by Davidson County tax payers.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 2:24 PM EDT2013-06-19 18:24:42 GMT
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