Councilmen set timetable to make MCC resolution hearing

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 1:35am
Rendering of proposed Music City Center

Between the first week of December and mid-January a series of key joint Metro Council committee meetings are scheduled that could help decide the fate of the proposed $585 million convention center.

In a letter co-written by At-large Councilman Ronnie Steine and Councilman Erik Cole, confirmed dates of the meetings are outlined to Council members, a schedule conceived to provide “ample time and sufficient opportunity to have all their questions answered.”

Steine serves as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee while Cole heads the Convention, Tourism and Public Entertainment Facilities Committee.

The timetable, the letter continues, is designed for the Council to consider the convention center package resolution at its regular Jan. 19 meeting at 6:30 p.m.

“Although some technical changes will be made to the documents after Dec. 3, the essential terms of the financing package will remain unchanged,” the letter (which can be downloaded below) reads.

The meetings:

• On Dec. 3, the Council and Convention Center Authority will receive the Music City Center’s financing proposal

• On Dec. 9, a question-and-answer session will take place following the Budget and Finance and Planning Committee meetings

• On Jan. 11, a final question-and-answer session is scheduled

• On Jan.14, a meeting is scheduled to deliberate and make recommendations on the convention center’s financing package resolution

All meetings will begin at 5 p.m.

Steine and Cole.pdf78.99 KB

12 Comments on this post:

By: Time for Truth on 11/25/09 at 8:30

We'll soon see whether the councilpersons are beholden to their constituents or to Mayor Dean. Sadly, I think I already know the answer.

By: Floyd2 on 11/25/09 at 9:06

Yes, let us hope they are listening to taxpaying residents of Davidson County like me. We support the Music City Center project because we understand business. We also know that four separate studies have shown this project will be a success.

Let's hope the coucil ignores the moronic naysayers that gnash their teeth and whine about every proposed project. If you hillbillies had your way, Nashville would be some third-rate backwater.

By: Pmd12931 on 11/25/09 at 10:30

Floyd2, call us hillbillies, morons, or whatever and we still think the taxpaying residents of Davidson County should vote on construction of Mayor Dean's showpiece, when he will be gone and we will be paying upkeep on it like we are on the Sommet Center and LP Field.

By: CitizensWin on 11/25/09 at 11:24

Nashville may not have a passenger train running through it,
but this is one railroad job that I am not on board with.

By no means am I not in favor of progress and a great city. However, for over a half of a billion dollars, this city has the opportunity to create revenue by exploring different revenue producing solutions. Instead of throwing caution to to the wind, alternative uses must be considered. Trade shows are a thing of the past. Technology corridors, learning centers, public hospitals and a plethora of more creative options exist in the face of eminent domain. Centers of learning, healing and smart growth are far more impressive goals. This is why a no vote to the Music City Center is not necessarily a negative thing, it is only a cautionary step.

Let us not forget that the Titans stadium actually had a city wide referendum vote with 46% voting against. That public works project had numerous funding vehicles making it less risky and more profitable than the one that stands before us today. It is hard to believe that this council is so nonchalantly voting toward a project that costs twice as much without a single vote by it's own citizens.

I believe that the two projects should be compared to one another and compared closely. Because for or all of the years that I have lived in Nashville, I have had of yet one single reason to to pay for a ticket to any event at the Nashville Convention Center we do have. . Which brings up the most obvious question: Why are we building another convention center in the first place? We made an incredible library out of a declining downtown shopping center. Can we not re-purpose the existing Convention Center similarly?

Finally, it should be noted, that this community and it's fiercest advocates just finished a major battle with the private developers of Maytown. Numerous vestiges of fatigue from that fight are going into to this new one. The difference, and this is a major difference, is that the City of Nashville itself is the the developer. Folks have not had the opportunity to catch their breath and advocate for more creative solutions, less dramatic time-lines and the do or die tactics like this ' Time-line Announcement' from Steine and Cole on the day before Thanksgiving, a travel day for many. Note to Council: Financing deliberation begins 6 days away and ends in 45 for a project that may take 30-50 years to pay off. This is a preposterous and absurd proposition regardless of one's politic.

The absolute very least that the Mayor and Council owe its' citizens is an up or down vote on Music City Center. Fair and Square. Once that vote is taken, council will know exactly what WE want for Nashville. Options would be nice gesture before bulldozers and over-runs begin. Council pretends that there are no options. This is not true. Now is the time for public debate and voter options. Citizens who win know better.

By: producer2 on 11/25/09 at 11:40

Eloquent but what you try and pass off as fact is merely opinion. If you don't care for any of the 4 previous studies that show the viability of this project then commission your own. If you are against being in the tourism business than just say so. Don't try and hide behind schools and Hospitals argument because it is not relevant to this discussion. The referendum on LP Field happened because it involved using a portion the citizens property taxes to build the facility, this project does not. AS far as less dramatic timelines, try the last 10 years of discussion on this project. How much more time would you like? Enough to kill it off?

By: CitizensWin on 11/25/09 at 1:16

'Honey! Load up the car and kids, we're heading to the Cincinnati Convention Center! This one in Nashville just won't do anymore!.'

And this is your idea of tourism?

Quit hiding behind self interests, self-serving studies and the Nashville Convention and Bureau Center. Either let the people vote for or against your convention center or don't build one at all. This will save everybody time and trouble, now and in the future. Anything less is the denial of democracy at it's very best and most supreme. Rome wasn't built in a day, but I do suspect there was a forum instead of a commissioned formula.

By: bfra on 11/25/09 at 3:54

producer2 - Your BS is getting old! You build this MCC and see how much money you make.

By: Time for Truth on 11/25/09 at 4:05

Cincinnati's Convention Center, by the way, is called the "Duke Energy Center' because Duke Energy paid for the expansion of Cincinnati's convention space to get their name on the building.

prod, I have yet to see you provide anything approaching a substantive fact to prove that a) citizens support this center (the only existing data shows otherwise) b) this center will make money for Nashville (substantive data provided by Jeff and others show the opposite is likely) and c) there is any real need for this center or any way this center will improve the lives of Nashvillians who are not builders, restauranteurs and events planners. All I've seen is cheerleading, regurgitating of prepackaged tourism industry positive endorsements from your so-called 'experts', and arrogant attempts to insult those providing factual indicators that this center will be an unwanted burden on the city of Nashville.

Floyd2, are you the latest incarnation of Nashbeck/MusicCity615 or someone who just recently picked up a lucrative contract or seat on the Convention Center board? The only people who really want this thing are the few who will make money off of it. Bad planning, bad timing, and heavy handed shifty politics all around.

CitizensWin, good posts. prod never calls me 'eloquent'.....roflmao

By: producer2 on 11/25/09 at 5:10

what data, do your own math. Let's not even look at the HOT tax or TDZ zone money, let's just look at the everyday tax dollars you and I an everyone else pays. What can we agree on monetarily that visitors will spend each day they visit on food, drink, and entertainment? Can we just use a simple $100? So of that $100, $10 will go straight into the City coffers, no Hot tax, no TDZ, just right to the bottom line profit. An average visitor spends 3 days here so multiply that $10 x 3 and you get $30. Not much you say...OK multiply that by 580,000. That is $17,500,000 that goes straight to the bottom line for your schools, police, whatever else you want. Not touched by tourism folks or anyone else. All for you. Is that something to sneeze at?

By: CityProgress on 11/26/09 at 2:37

CitizensWin, you've hit it out the park.
Your comments would make a great letter to the editor. We would all be well served if greater efforts were made to blast the editorial pages of local papers and our councilpeople's email inboxes Sending letters to other city officials such as schools, transit, planning, parks, etc would also be helpful to build momentum.

Beyond that, I'm curious to see ideas for organizing opposition events or campaigns. We've all seen, and while they do a good job, the MCC PR hacks painting them as Gaylord pawns have been given a huge media megaphone.
It would be to our advantage to have an event or movement with no Gaylord ties at all, and thus harder to "attack the messenger." There is still time, but we must act fast. Many of us are clearly passionate about the well-being and future of our city. Clearly, this is the home stretch of the fight.

Some people have suggested events, flyers, posters, etc. Whoever is willing, contribute an idea to this bulletin, but we should commit to action soon.

...and prod, you just keep on airing out those dusty old lies, ACHOO!

By: MusicCity615 on 11/26/09 at 4:29

Time for Truth, good try. Is it amazing that people are actually listening to REAL studies that show this convention center is viable? We are 4 for 4 on independent studies conducted. But wait, you're going to say Dean is paying them off, right?

The best argument this Time For "TRUTH" woman has told us is that one time she had to pay a $4 tax when she rented a car. YOU PAY MORE AT STARBUCKS.

I am a Nashville resident and I fully support this project. I am in the banking industry, and my 8 year old cousin can understand the logic of "build when construction prices are cheap, open when economy is on the upswing".

I have more than enough to do in Nashville with the Titans, Predators, Ryman Auditorium, the future of Riverfront Park, The Frist Art Center, Country Music Hall of Fame, The Symphony Hall.
But I guess TFT, City"progress", idgaf, Citizenswin, Panda Bear would think that those projects were terrible investments for Nashville. I call those projects "PROGRESS".

We live in a REPUBLIC you genius posters. We elect politicians and council members to make decisions on the future of Nashville for us. Dean and every other Mayoral canditate stated they support a Convention Center.


By: CityProgress on 11/26/09 at 5:41

"In March 2007, KPMG forecast the redirect revenue at $7.5 million in 2020 and $12.4 million in 2040. In August 2009, C.H. Johnson Consulting estimated redirect revenue at $14 million in 2020 and $23.2 million in 2040. Holy multiplier, Batman!... So if the HQ hotel is to be significantly smaller then was assumed at the time that previous revenue forecasts were made, then the redirected tax revenue servicing MCC debt will obviously be concomitantly lower."

“Money dedicated to a long-term project such as the convention center is necessarily unavailable for other projects that might also provide lasting value,” says Dr. Bill Fox, UT Business Center Director and lead author of a 2006 UT report on the subject.
"The HVS study also predicted that Music City Center would operate at a $900,000 loss in 2015-16 and never get into the black, which caused Councilman Lonnell Matthews to ask, “What are the benefits, then?”
"...The study assumed the inclusion of a 750-room headquarters hotel, although a decision about that potential aspect of the project will be made separately and be accompanied by its own study. The tax revenue figures rely heavily on the inclusion of the hotel. Room taxes are projected to generate $14.8 million in 2013, $19.6 million in 2018 and $22.4 million in 2023."
"Riebeling said the HVS study will be used to develop a financing package to be presented early next month. "

Thats right folks! ORDER NOW in payments of $1 MILLION a year for ETERNITY!

1. The HVS report is based on inflated assumptions as usual.
2. Not even the sneaky MCC coalition bloated their figures to 300,000, as they suggested a modest increase to 196, 700 annual hotel guests after a 5 year stabilization. The current convention center generated 170,000 hotel guests in 2003. For $1 billion we get 26,700 more hotel guests that will never pay it off.
3. Conventions attract visitors for 2 nights, not 3, and no way they spend $280 a day.
4. Everyone's tired of suffering these greedy fools.
5. We should rally around the better uses of these funds, such as mass transit.
6. Half a billion dollars would put light rail and bus rapid transit through 200 miles along Nashville's major arterials. That leaves another half billion for other uses such as parks, greenways, sidewalks, schools, police, museums, libraries, boulevards, performance-music-arts development districts, festivals and other attractions to make Nashville a better place for everyone; residents, visitors, even convention biz swindlers.