The 1.2 million square foot Music City Center is scheduled to open in just 15 months, by April 30 of next year.
The half-billion dollar project could open before that, but since that date is fluid, two conventions booked for March 2013 have had to cancel.
One of the groups will take its convention dollars to Orlando while the other is looking at Gaylord Opryland, also in Nashville.
Despite the early set back, officials with the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau are optimistic about the facility and the money it will draw to Music City.
President Butch Spyridon says the Convention and Visitors Bureau was pre-selling the facility to prospective convention groups across the country long before construction began.
Unfortunately, he says the flood of May 2010 and increase in cost of materials were factors they could not predict.
“We thought and hoped we would get there,” Spyridon said of the once set completion date of March 2013, “Unfortunately we did not.”
The American Trucking Association with 5,000 members would have been the first group to stay at the new facility that month but has cancelled.
The second group was to be the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association with more than 7,000 members.
Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association will hold their convention next year in Orlando while the trucking association is considering moving its March 2013 convention to Opryland.
“It's disappointing for March of 2013 but we have a long term story for next the next 20 years and we are not going to screw it up in the first month,” Spyridon said. “The important thing is to treat the client right and make sure they keep coming.”
There is a bit of good news, according to Spyridon.Both groups signed up for multiple years into the future at the new facility and at least 65 other bookings are slated through the year 2026.
The first big group to occupy the Music City Center will be the Country Music Association in early June.