When it opened 50 years ago, the Nashville Municipal auditorium contained one of the premiere concert venues and expo spaces in the city. Now, post-Bridgestone Arena, LP Field, Music City Center and the proliferation of other small-to-mid-sized music venues, Municipal — now officially known as the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium — is looking to find its niche.
Tearing down the building, if it was ever on the table, appears to be off it for now. So auditorium officials want to determine what Municipal should be.
During the council’s budget hearings last month, Councilman Ronnie Steine asked Skoney and Municipal Auditorium Commission Chairman Randy Rayburn for their thoughts on the facility’s role in Nashville going forward. Both suggested the auditorium could function in tandem with the Music City Center, hosting convention-related events, or serve as an alternative for business groups or musical acts when the MCC or Bridgestone are booked.
Rayburn said he favors commissioning a professional study to determine what the auditorium’s best uses might be. He told The City Paper more recently that the commission has expressed unanimous support for the idea.
“Bob Skoney has done an excellent job of running and managing the facility,” he said. “But the facility going forward, it needs to be determined what’s the best vehicle to do that.”
Rayburn and Skoney, the auditorium's general manager, say they plan to meet with Dean administration officials to discuss the possibility of such a study.