Last night's Town Hall discussion of the Music City Center surfaced a number of revelations:
- The gloves are off -- Randy Rayburn's personal attacks on Emily Evans were desperate and nasty (prediction: that is just getting started)
- The Pro-MCC forces must rely on emotion, hope and disinformation because (as Bruce Barry pointed out recently): "Sadly, MCC advocates apparently don't believe they can prevail through honest argument and arithmetic."
- There are a lot of Gaylord haters in Nashville.
- The media (mainstream and - sadly - the social space too) picked up on the Red Herrings that MCC's attack dog Rayburn dragged out: that CM Evans is using this as a platform to run for mayor; and also that she "has not created any jobs" (btw, neither had Karl Dean before he ran for mayor).
- A Convention Center is not high on the list of strategic priorities for most Nashville residents, and this diversion of resources will have lasting and damaging consequences for the city.
- Taxpayers will be on the hook for revenue shortfalls -- Rich Riebeling says it would be a minimal amount, but that's the same line we heard a couple of years ago about the rise in mortgage defaults.
- HVS studies are notorious for over-stating revenue and attendance projections, yet no one (outside of volunteers at Nashville's Priorities) is challenging their assertions.
- Conventions are a declining industry -- demand is eroding because of the convergence of technology, cost containment and Green concerns; while the supply of convention center space continues astounding growth. Would any businessman in Nashville get into a business with those trends? I guess not, since no one has stepped forward.