NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Nashville's Mayor Karl Dean is considering the creation a brand-new amphitheater in the city and he has tapped former Buddy Lee president Tony Conway to lead an exploratory committee to examine the feasibility of the project, weighing considerations such as size, cost, location and economic impact.
According to Conway and other industry veterans, the market has been losing mid-sized shows since the closing of the Starwood Amphitheatre in nearby Antioch in 2007.
"There are a number of artists and a number of touring productions and a number of local entities like the symphony that need a world-class, outdoor amphitheater," Conway told the Tennessean. "And there's a lot of artists that bypass Nashville on tour just because we don't have such a facility." he added.
The idea of the amphitheater isn't universally popular however, and some people, such as city councilman Mike James are advocating for a larger, multi-function facility.
"Amphitheaters in and of themselves don't engender constant use," Jameson told the Tennessean. "Amphitheater entertainment by definition is seasonal. There are a good four months out of the year when you simply can't do much in terms of outdoor entertainment. And you're also limited by the hours of the day."
Others, such as Brian Taylor, a commercial real estate broker think the community would be better served by a baseball stadium.
"An amphitheater is a great idea. But I'm still a proponent of a ballpark, because a ballpark could be an amphitheater. And they're only using the ballpark, what, 80 days a year?"
The site currently under consideration for the new amphitheater is a piece of downtown riverfront property that was the former site of the city's Thermal Transfer Plant. The mayor has asked the committee to explore other potential locations, including potential baseball stadium sites for the amphitheater as well, the Tennessean said.
Conway was a former president at Buddy Lee Attractions, but left the agency last year to launch his own company Conway Entertainment Group. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers