New Nashville convention center to open in May

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A new convention center in Nashville is transforming the look of downtown with its wavy roof dominating six city blocks, but tourism officials hope the eye-catching facility will also show visitors a revitalized Music City.

The Music City Center has generated heated debate within the city and has cost more than half a billion dollars. After more than three years of construction, the facility is opening in May with more than 150 groups booked for future events.

Charles Starks, CEO of the center, said Nashville is competing with Atlanta, New Orleans and Orlando for conventions, and they are meeting with planners who've never considered the city as a destination.

The city is also basking in good publicity from ABC's "Nashville" show, along with new restaurants and a growing cultural scene.

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