For over three years, downtown Nashville has transformed to make way for its new emerging landmark — and come May 19, its doors will open to the world. Billed as the largest public development project in the history of the state, the Music City Convention Center will serve as the gateway for the hundreds of thousands of convention visitors to the city.
The grand opening will be a two-day event for the community May 19-20. The celebration will feature a free concert with musician Sheryl Crow on May 20, a street party and open house for the community.
“I continue to be impressed by the size and beauty of the Music City Center and encourage Nashvillians to see it for themselves during the grand opening,” said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean in a press release.
Construction on the $585 million facility began in January 2010 and will be completed on April 30. During May, furniture, fixtures and equipment will be installed, and staff training will continue. More than 100 meetings and 800,000 room nights have already been booked.
“There’s no doubt we are a city with momentum, and with the opening of the Music City Center in May, even more tourists and conventioneers will get to see that firsthand,” said Dean. “We know it’s not going to be the biggest convention facility in the country, but I’m absolutely certain it will be the best.”
Major features include a public art collection comprised of more than 80 pieces; Sixth Avenue, which runs through the building; and the 57,500-square-foot Grand Ballroom, which seats 6,000 people. Green features include solar panels and a green roof. The building is on track to receive LEED Silver certification.
Due to its larger size, the Music City Center will be able to host 75 percent of conventions in the country, compared to 25 percent that can currently be accommodated at the Nashville Convention Center. The Music City Center totals 2.1 million square feet. That includes 1.2 million square feet of public space and a 900,000-square-foot garage, which includes 1,800 parking spaces.
The meetings booked for the Music City Center range from this year to 2026 and include multi-year agreements for many groups. The Mayor will present his state of the Metro address at the center at 10 a.m. on May 20 as part of the grand opening festivals.