ABC's hit television show “Nashville” is scheduled to begin filming around town later this month, in part because of an incentive package.
In a recent news release, the state outlined $12.5 million in support. The release also states the mayor's office has also proposed a cash grant of $500,000.
“We have the money in reserves and we made a decision that this was a good thing for the city when you stop and think what the show means to the city,” Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said.
He added, “For $500,000 we're going to get the name Nashville plastered all over the world.”
While Mayor Dean believes “Nashville” is a great marketing tool for the city, some Metro councilmen are skeptical.
“We already are a destination city,” Councilman Robert Duvall said. “I have my pet projects too and you pick and choose what you want and $500,000 is not in the budget as far as I can tell. I question where the money is going to come from.”
He added, “It has nothing to do with personal. Karl's a good guy. I like him as a person, but somewhere we have to draw a line and say, ‘Folks, there's no more money down in the pocketbook.'”
Despite the criticism, Dean stands by the economic incentive.
“Anytime you do an economic incentive, there is always some criticism, people who just philosophically disagree with that, but this is a pretty unique case,” he said.
The council will hear legislation regarding the incentive next month before voting on the matter.
Season two of “Nashville” will air on ABC beginning this fall.
- June 21, 2013: 'Nashville' to continue shooting in Music City next season