Nashville, TN Real Estate
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Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The city is the county seat of Davidson County and is located on the Cumberland River. The city’s population ranks 24th in the U.S. According to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the total consolidated city-county population stood at 691,243. The “balance” population, which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Davidson County, was 667,560 in 2017.
Located in northern Middle Tennessee, Nashville is the major city of the largest metropolitan area in Tennessee. The 2017 population of the entire 14-county Nashville metropolitan area was 1,903,045. The 2017 population of the Nashville–Davidson–Murfreesboro–Columbia combined statistical area, a larger trade area, was 2,027,489.
Named for Francis Nash, a general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, the city was founded in 1779. The city grew quickly due to its strategic location as a port on the Cumberland River and, in the 19th century, a railroad center. Nashville seceded with Tennessee during the American Civil War; in 1862 it was the first state capital in the Confederacy to fall to Union troops. After the war, the city reclaimed its position and developed a manufacturing base.
Since 1963, Nashville has had a consolidated city-county government, which includes six smaller municipalities in a two-tier system. The city is governed by a mayor, a vice-mayor, and a 40-member metropolitan council; 35 of the members are elected from single-member districts, while the other five are elected at-large. Reflecting the city’s position in state government, Nashville is home to the Tennessee Supreme Court‘s courthouse for Middle Tennessee, one of the three divisions.
Nashville is a center for the music, healthcare, publishing, private prison, banking, and transportation industries. It is home to numerous colleges and universities, such as Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Fisk University, and Lipscomb University. Entities with headquarters in the city include Asurion, Bridgestone Americas, Captain D’s, CoreCivic, Dollar General, Hospital Corporation of America, LifeWay Christian Resources, Logan’s Roadhouse, and Ryman Hospitality Properties.
18th and 19th centuries
The town of Nashville was founded by James Robertson, John Donelson, and a party of Overmountain Men in 1779, near the original Cumberland settlement of Fort Nashborough. It was named for Francis Nash, the American Revolutionary War hero. Nashville quickly grew because of its strategic location as a port on the Cumberland River, a tributary of the Ohio River; and its later status as a major railroad center. By 1800, the city had 345 residents, including 136 enslaved African Americans and 14 free African Americans. In 1806, Nashville was incorporated as a city and became the county seat of Davidson County, Tennessee. In 1843, the city was named as the permanent capital of the state of Tennessee.
The city government of Nashville owned 24 slaves by 1831, and 60 prior to the Civil War. They were “put to work to build the first successful water system and maintain the streets.” Auction blocks and brokers’ offices were part of the slave market at the heart of the city. It was the center of plantations cultivating tobacco and hemp as commodity crops, in addition to the breeding and training of thoroughbred horses, and other livestock.
The cholera epidemic that struck Nashville in 1849–1850 took the life of former U.S. President James K. Polk and resulted in high fatalities. There were 311 deaths from cholera in 1849 and an estimated 316 to about 500 in 1850.
Before the civil war, about 700 free blacks lived in small enclaves in northern Nashville while there were over 3,200 enslaved people of color in the city. By 1860, when the first rumblings of secession began to be heard across the South, antebellum Nashville was a prosperous city. The city’s significance as a shipping port and rail center made it a desirable prize for competing military forces that wanted to control the region’s important river and railroad transportation routes. In February 1862, Nashville became the first Confederate state capital to fall to Union troops, and the state was occupied by Union troops for the duration of the war. Then African-Americans from Middle Tennessee fled to contraband camps around military installations in Nashville’s eastern, western, and southern borders. The Battle of Nashville (December 15–16, 1864) was a significant Union victory and perhaps the most decisive tactical victory gained by either side in the war; it was also the war’s final major military action in which Tennessee regiments played a large part on both sides of the battle. Afterward, the Confederates conducted a war of attrition, making guerrilla raids and engaging in small skirmishes, with the Confederate forces in the Deep South almost constantly in retreat.
In 1868, a few years after the Civil War, the Nashville chapter of the Ku Klux Klan was founded by Confederate veteran John W. Morton. He was reported to have initiated General Nathan Bedford Forrest into the vigilante organization. Chapters of this secret [insurgent]] group formed throughout the state and the South; they opposed voting and political organizing by freedmen, tried to control their behavior, and sometimes also attacked their white allies, including schoolteachers from the North.
Whites directed violence against freedmen and their descendants both during and after the Reconstruction era. Two freedmen were lynched in Nashville by white mobs in 1872 and 1875, respectively. The man in the latter incident was hanged from a bridge over the river, but he survived after the rope broke and he went into the water. He fled the city.
In 1873 Nashville suffered another cholera epidemic, as did towns throughout Sumner County along railroad routes and the Cumberland River.
Meanwhile, the city had reclaimed its important shipping and trading position and developed a solid manufacturing base. The post–Civil War years of the late 19th century brought new prosperity to Nashville and Davidson County. Wealthy planters and businessmen built grand, classical-style buildings. A replica of the Parthenon was constructed in Centennial Park, near downtown.
On April 30, 1892, Ephraim Grizzard, an African-American man, was lynched in a spectacle murder in front of a white mob of 10,000 in Nashville. His lynching was described by journalist Ida B. Wells as: “A naked, bloody example of the blood-thirstiness of the nineteenth century civilization of the Athens of the South.” His brother Henry Grizzard had been lynched and hanged on April 24, 1892 in nearby Goodlettsville, a suspect in the same incident. From 1877 to 1950, a total of six lynchings of blacks were conducted in Davidson County, four before the turn of the century.
By the turn of the century, Nashville had become the cradle of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, as the first chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was founded here and the Confederate Veteran magazine was published here. Most “guardians of the Lost Cause” lived Downtown or in the West End, near Centennial Park.
At the same time, Jefferson Street became the historic center of the African-American community with similar districts growing in the black neighborhoods in East and North Nashville. In 1912, the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial and Normal School moved to Jefferson Street. The first Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack originated at the corner of Jefferson Street and 28th Avenue, near Tennessee A&I’s campus and just down the street from Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church, in 1945. Jefferson Street became an important haunt for jazz and blues musicians, and remained so until the federal government split the area by construction of Interstate 40 in the late 1960s.
Circa 1950 the state legislature approved a new city charter that provided for the election of city council members from single-member districts, rather than at-large voting. This change was supported because at-large voting required candidates to gain a majority of votes from across the city. This prevented the minority population, which then supported Republican candidates, from being represented by candidates of their choice.
With the United States Supreme Court ruling in 1954 that public schools had to desegregate with “all deliberate speed”, the family of Robert Kelley filed a lawsuit in 1956, arguing that Nashville administrators should open all-white East High School to him. A similar case was filed by Rev. Henry Maxwell because his children had to endure a 45-minute bus ride from south of Nashville to the other side of the city. This had the courts announcing that Nashville public schools would desegregate one grade per year beginning in the fall of 1957, known as the “Nashville Plan.
Urban redevelopment accelerated over the next several decades, and the city grew increasingly segregated. A new interstate cleared the edge of East Nashville while a highway was routed through Edgehill, a lower-income predominantly minority community.
In the early 1970s, the Supreme Court ruled that state legislatures had to reapportion their state and federal districts in order to support one man, one vote, as the legislatures had been biased for years toward rural districts. Many state legislatures across the country had not reapportioned either their state or congressional districts for decades. This resulted in the more industrialized and urbanized centers being underrepresented for many years.
Apportionment under the single-member districts meant that some districts in Nashville had black majorities. In 1951, after passage of the new charter, African-American attorneys Z. Alexander Looby and Robert E. Lillard were elected from single-member districts to the city council.
Postwar development to present
Rapid suburbanization occurred during the years immediately after World War II, as new housing was being built outside city limits. This resulted in a demand for many new schools and other support facilities, which the county found difficult to provide. At the same time, suburbanization led to a declining tax base in the city, although many suburban residents used unique city amenities and services that were supported financially only by city taxpayers. After years of discussion, a referendum was held in 1958 on the issue of consolidating city and county government. It failed to gain approval although it was supported by elected leaders of both jurisdictions: County Judge Beverly Briley of Davidson and Mayor Ben West of Nashville.
Following the referendum’s failure, Nashville annexed some 42 square miles of suburban jurisdictions to expand its tax base. This increased uncertainty among residents, and created resentment among many suburban communities. Under the second charter for metropolitan government, which was approved in 1962, two levels of service provision were proposed: the General Services District and the Urban Services District, to provide for a differential in tax levels. Residents of the Urban Services District had a full range of city services. The areas that made up the General Services District, however, had a lower tax rate until full services were provided. This helped reconcile aspects of services and taxation among the differing jurisdictions within the large metro region.
In 1960 Tennessee still had racial segregation of public facilities, including lunch counters and department store fitting rooms. Hotels and restaurants were segregated. On April 19, 1960, the house of Z. Alexander Looby, an African-American attorney and council member, was bombed by segregationists. Protesters marched to the city hall the next day. Mayor Ben West said he supported the desegregation of lunch counters, which civil rights activists had called for.
In 1963, Nashville consolidated its government with Davidson County, forming a metropolitan government. The membership on the Metro Council, the legislative body, was increased from 21 to 40 seats. Of these, five members are elected at-large and 35 are elected from single-member districts, each to serve a term of four years.
Congress passed civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965, but tensions continued as society was slow to change. On April 8, 1967, a riot broke out on the college campuses of Fisk University and Tennessee State University, historically black colleges, after Stokely Carmichael spoke about Black Power at Vanderbilt University. Although it was viewed as a “race riot”, it had classist characteristics.
Since the 1970s, the city and county have undergone tremendous growth, particularly during the economic boom of the 1990s under the leadership of then-Mayor and later-Tennessee Governor, Phil Bredesen. Making urban renewal a priority, Bredesen fostered the construction or renovation of several city landmarks, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the downtown Nashville Public Library, the Bridgestone Arena, and Nissan Stadium.
Nissan Stadium (formerly Adelphia Coliseum and LP Field) was built after the National Football League‘s (NFL) Houston Oilers agreed to move to the city in 1995. The NFL team debuted in Nashville in 1998 at Vanderbilt Stadium, and Nissan Stadium opened in the summer of 1999. The Oilers changed their name to the Tennessee Titans and finished the season with the Music City Miracle and a close Super Bowl game. The St. Louis Rams won in the last play of the game.
In 1997, Nashville was awarded a National Hockey League expansion team; this was named the Nashville Predators. Since the 2003–04 season, the Predators have made the playoffs in all but three seasons. In 2017, they made the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history, but ultimately fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4 games to 2, in the best-of-seven series.
The city bounced back after the Great Recession. In March 2012, a Gallup poll ranked Nashville in the top five regions for job growth. In 2013, Nashville was described as “Nowville” and “It City” by GQ, Forbes, and The New York Times.
Nashville elected its first female mayor, Megan Barry, on September 25, 2015. As a council member, Barry had officiated at the city’s first same-sex wedding on June 26, 2015.
In 2017, Nashville’s economy was deemed the third fastest-growing in the nation, and the city was named the “hottest housing market in the US” by Freddie Mac realtors. In May 2017, census estimates showed Nashville had passed Memphis to become most populated city in Tennessee. Nashville has also made national headlines for its “homelessness crisis”. Rising housing prices and the opioid crisis have resulted in more people being out on the streets: as of 2018, between 2,300 and 20,000 Nashvillians are homeless.
On March 6, 2018, due to felony charges filed against Mayor Barry relating to the misuse of public funds, she resigned before the end of her term. A special election was called. Following a ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court, the Davidson County Election Commission set the special election for May 24, 2018, to meet the requirement of 75 to 80 days from the date of resignation. David Briley, who was Vice Mayor during the Barry administration and Acting Mayor after her resignation, won the special election with just over 54% of the vote, becoming the 70th mayor of Nashville.
Nashville’s downtown area features a diverse assortment of entertainment, dining, cultural and architectural attractions. The Broadway and 2nd Avenue areas feature entertainment venues, night clubs and an assortment of restaurants. North of Broadway lie Nashville’s central business district, Legislative Plaza, Capitol Hill and the Tennessee Bicentennial Mall. Cultural and architectural attractions can be found throughout the city.
Three major interstate highways (I-40, I-65 and I-24) converge near the core area of downtown, and many regional cities are within a day’s driving distance.
Nashville’s first skyscraper, the Life & Casualty Tower, was completed in 1957 and launched the construction of other high rises in downtown Nashville. After the construction of the AT&T Building (commonly referred to by locals as the “Batman Building”) in 1994, the downtown area saw little construction until the mid-2000s. The Pinnacle, a high rise office building, opened in 2010, the first Nashville skyscraper completed in more than 15 years. Ten more skyscrapers have since been constructed or are under construction.
Many civic and infrastructure projects are being planned, in progress, or recently completed. A new MTA bus hub was recently completed in downtown Nashville, as was the Music City Star pilot project. Several public parks have been constructed, such as the Public Square. Riverfront Park is scheduled to be extensively updated. The Music City Center opened in May 2013. It is a 1,200,000 square foot (110,000 m2) convention center with 370,000 square feet (34,000 m2) of exhibit space.
As the “home of country music”, Nashville has become a major music recording and production center. The Big Three record labels, as well as numerous independent labels, have offices in Nashville, mostly in the Music Row area. Nashville has been the headquarters of guitar company Gibson since 1984. Since the 1960s, Nashville has been the second-largest music production center (after New York) in the United States. As of 2006, Nashville’s music industry is estimated to have a total economic impact of $6.4 billion per year and to contribute 19,000 jobs to the Nashville area.
In recent times Nashville has been described as a “southern boomtown” by numerous publications, with it having the third fastest growing economy in the United States as of 2017. It has been stated by the US Census bureau that Nashville “adds an average of 100 people a day to its net population increase”. The Nashville region was also stated to be the “Number One” Metro Area for Professional and Business Service Jobs in America, as well as having the “hottest Housing market in America” as stated by Zillow.
Although Nashville is renowned as a music recording center and tourist destination, its largest industry is health care. Nashville is home to more than 300 health care companies, including Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the world’s largest private operator of hospitals. As of 2012, it is estimated the health care industry contributes US$30 billion per year and 200,000 jobs to the Nashville-area economy.
CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America and one of the largest private corrections company in the United States, was founded in Nashville in 1983. Vanderbilt University was one of its investors prior to the company’s initial public offering. The City of Nashville’s pension fund includes “a $921,000 stake” in the company as of 2017. The Nashville Scene notes that, “A drop in CoreCivic stock value, however minor, would have a direct impact on the pension fund that represents nearly 25,000 current and former Metro employees.”
The automotive industry is also becoming important for the Middle Tennessee region. Nissan North America moved its corporate headquarters in 2006 from Gardena, California (Los Angeles County) to Franklin, southwest of Nashville. Nissan also has its largest North American manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. Largely as a result of the increased development of Nissan and other Japanese economic interests in the region, Japan moved its former New Orleans consulate-general to Nashville’s Palmer Plaza.
Bridgestone has a strong presence with their North American headquarters located in Nashville, with manufacturing plants and a distribution center in nearby counties.
Other major industries in Nashville include insurance, finance, and publishing (especially religious publishing). The city hosts headquarters operations for several Protestant denominations, including the United Methodist Church, Southern Baptist Convention, National Baptist Convention USA, and the National Association of Free Will Baptists.
Nashville is also known for some of their famously popular Southern confections, including Goo Goo Clusters (which have been made in Nashville since 1912).
Fortune 500 companies with offices within Nashville include BNY Mellon, Bridgestone Americas, Ernst & Young, Community Health Systems, Dell, Deloitte, Dollar General, Hospital Corporation of America, Nissan North America, Philips, Tractor Supply Company, and UBS. Of these, Community Health Systems, Dollar General, Hospital Corporation of America, and Tractor Supply Company are headquartered in the city.
In 2013, the city ranked No. 5 on Forbes‘ list of the Best Places for Business and Careers. In 2015, Forbes put Nashville as the 4th Best City for White Collar Jobs.
In 2015, Business Facilities’ 11th Annual Rankings report named Nashville the number one city for Economic Growth Potential.
In May 2018, AllianceBernstein pledged to build a private client office in the city by mid-2019 and to move its headquarters from New York City to Nashville by 2024. Additionally, in November 2018, Amazon announced its plans to build an operations center in the Nashville Yards development to serve as the hub for their Retail Operations division.
Real estate is becoming a driver for the city’s economy. Based on a survey of nearly 1,500 real estate industry professionals conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute, Nashville ranked 7th nationally in terms of attractiveness to real estate investors for 2016. As of October 2015, according to city figures, there is more than $2 billion in real estate projects underway or projected to start in 2016. Due to high yields available to investors, Nashville has been attracting a lot of capital from out-of-state. A key factor that has been attributed to the increase in investment is the adjustment to the city’s zoning code. Developers can easily include a combination of residential, office, retail and entertainment space into their projects. Additionally, the city has invested heavily into public parks. Centennial Park is undergoing extensive renovations. The change in the zoning code and the investment in public space is consistent with the millennial generation’s preference for walkable urban neighborhoods.
Much of the city’s cultural life has revolved around its large university community. Particularly significant in this respect were two groups of critics and writers who were associated with Vanderbilt University in the early 20th century: the Fugitives and the Agrarians.
Popular destinations include Fort Nashborough and Fort Negley, the former being a reconstruction of the original settlement, the latter being a semi-restored Civil War battle fort; the Tennessee State Museum; and The Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. The Tennessee State Capitol is one of the oldest working state capitol buildings in the nation. The Hermitage, the former home of President Andrew Jackson, is one of the largest presidential homes open to the public, and is also one of the most visited.
Some of the more popular types of local cuisine include hot chicken, hot fish, barbecue, and meat and three. Thanks in part to Nashville’s foodie culture, the city was ranked as the 13th “snobbiest” city in America according to Travel + Leisure magazine.
Entertainment and performing arts
Nashville has a vibrant music and entertainment scene spanning a variety of genres. The Tennessee Performing Arts Center is the major performing arts center of the city. It is the home of the Nashville Repertory Theatre, the Nashville Opera, the Music City Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Nashville Ballet. In September 2006, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center opened as the home of the Nashville Symphony.
As the city’s name itself is a metonym for the country music industry, many popular tourist attractions involve country music, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Belcourt Theatre, and Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman was home to the Grand Ole Opryuntil 1974 when the show moved to the Grand Ole Opry House, 9 miles (14 km) east of downtown. The Opry plays there several times a week, except for an annual winter run at the Ryman.
Nashville was once home of television shows such as Hee Haw and Pop! Goes the Country, as well as The Nashville Network and later, RFD-TV. Country Music Television and Great American Country currently operate from Nashville. The city was also home to the Opryland USA theme park, which operated from 1972 to 1997 before being closed by its owners (Gaylord Entertainment Company) and soon after demolished to make room for the Opry Mills mega-shopping mall.
The Contemporary Christian music industry is based along Nashville’s Music Row, with a great influence in neighboring Williamson County. The Christian record companies include EMI Christian Music Group, Provident Label Group and Word Records.
Music Row houses many gospel music and Contemporary Christian music companies centered around 16th and 17th Avenues South. On River Road, off Charlotte Pike in West Nashville, the CabaRay opened its doors on January 18, 2018. The performing venue of Ray Stevens it offers a Vegas style dinner and a show atmosphere. There is also a piano bar and a gift shop.
Although Nashville was never known as a major jazz town, it did have many great jazz bands, including The Nashville Jazz Machine led by Dave Converse and its current version, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra, led by Jim Williamson, as well as The Establishment, led by Billy Adair. The Francis Craig Orchestra entertained Nashvillians from 1929 to 1945 from the Oak Bar and Grille Room in the Hermitage Hotel. Craig’s orchestra was also the first to broadcast over local radio station WSM-AM and enjoyed phenomenal success with a 12-year show on the NBC Radio Network. In the late 1930s, he introduced a newcomer, Dinah Shore, a local graduate of Hume Fogg High School and Vanderbilt University.
Radio station WMOT-FM in nearby Murfreesboro, which formerly programmed jazz almost exclusively and still does so on the weekends, aided significantly in the recent revival of the city’s jazz scene, as has the non-profit Nashville Jazz Workshop, which holds concerts and classes in a renovated building in the north Nashville neighborhood of Germantown. Fisk University also maintains a jazz station, WFSK.
Nashville has an active theatre scene and is home to several professional and community theatre companies. Nashville Children’s Theatre, Nashville Repertory Theatre, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, the Dance Theatre of Tennessee and the Tennessee Women’s Theater Project are among the most prominent professional companies. One community theatre, Circle Players, has been in operation for over 60 years.
The Barbershop Harmony Society has its headquarters in Nashville.
Perhaps the biggest factor in drawing visitors to Nashville is its association with country music. Many visitors to Nashville attend live performances of the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest-running live radio show. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is another major attraction relating to the popularity of country music. The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, the Opry Mills regional shopping mall and the General Jackson showboat, are all located in what is known as Music Valley.
Civil War history is important to the city’s tourism industry. Sites pertaining to the Battle of Nashville and the nearby Battle of Franklin and Battle of Stones River can be seen, along with several well-preserved antebellum plantation houses such as Belle Meade Plantation, Carnton plantation in Franklin, and Belmont Mansion.
Nashville has many arts centers and museums, including the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, the Tennessee State Museum, the Johnny Cash Museum, Fisk University’s Van Vechten and Aaron Douglas Galleries, Vanderbilt University’s Fine Art Gallery and Sarratt Gallery, the National Museum of African American Music, and the full-scale replica of the Parthenon.
Nashville has become an increasingly popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties. In 2017 Nashville Scene counted 33 bachelorette parties on Lower Broadway (“from Fifth Avenue down to the Cumberland River, it’s their town”) in less than two hours on a Friday night, and stated that the actual number was likely higher. Downtown (“the NashVegas strip“), the newspaper wrote, “offers five blocks of bars with live music and no cover”. In 2018, The New York Times called Nashville “the hottest destination for bachelorette parties in the country”, because of the honky-tonk bars’ live music. City boosters welcome the bachelorette parties because temporary visitors may become permanent; Buzzfeed News wrote, “These women are at precisely the point in their lives when a move to Nashville is possible”. The CMT reality television series Bachelorette Weekend follows the employees at Bach Weekend, a Nashville company that designs and throws bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Nashville is a colorful, well-known city in several different arenas. As such, it has earned various sobriquets, including:
- Music City, U.S.A.: WSM-AM announcer David Cobb first used this name during a 1950 broadcast and it stuck. It is now the official nickname used by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Nashville is the home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and many major record labels. This name also dates back to 1873, where after receiving and hearing a performance by the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Queen Victoria of The United Kingdom is reported as saying that “These young people must surely come from a musical city.”
- Athens of the South: Home to 24 post-secondary educational institutions, Nashville has long been compared to Athens, the ancient city of learning and site of Plato‘s Academy. Since 1897, a full-scale replica of the Athenian Parthenon has stood in Nashville, and many examples of classical and neoclassical architecture can be found in the city. The term was popularized by Philip Lindsley (1786–1855), President of the University of Nashville, though it is unclear whether he was the first person to use the phrase.
- The Protestant Vatican or The Buckle of the Bible Belt: Nashville has over 700 churches, several seminaries, a number of Christian music companies, and is the headquarters for the publishing arms of the Southern Baptist Convention (LifeWay Christian Resources), the United Methodist Church (United Methodist Publishing House) and the National Baptist Convention (Sunday School Publishing Board). It is also the seat of the National Baptist Convention, the National Association of Free Will Baptists, the Gideons International, the Gospel Music Association, and Thomas Nelson, the world’s largest producer of Bibles.
- Cashville: Nashville native Young Buck released a successful rap album called Straight Outta Cashville that has popularized the nickname among a new generation.
- Little Kurdistan: Nashville has the United States’ largest population of Kurdish people, estimated to be around 11,000.
- Nash Vegas or Nashvegas
Nashville has additionally earned the moniker “The Hot Chicken Capital”, becoming known for the local specialty cuisine hot chicken. The Music City Hot Chicken Festival is hosted annually in Nashville and several restaurants make this spicy version of southern fried chicken.
Nashville is home to five professional sports franchises. Two play at the highest professional level of their respective sports: the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League and the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League. A third, Nashville SC of Major League Soccer, is scheduled to begin play in 2020. The city is also home to two minor league teams: the Nashville Sounds of Minor League Baseball‘s Pacific Coast League and Nashville SC of the USL Championship.
The Tennessee Titans moved to Nashville in 1998. Previously known as the Houston Oilers that began play in 1960 in Houston, Texas, the Oilers relocated to Tennessee in 1997. They played at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis for one season, then moved to Nashville in 1998 and played in Vanderbilt Stadium for one season. During those two years, the team was known as the Tennessee Oilers, but changed its name to Titans in 1999. The team now plays at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, which opened in 1999. Since moving to Nashville, the Titans have won three division championships (2000, 2002, and 2008) and one conference championship (1999). They competed in 1999’s Super Bowl XXXIV, losing to the St. Louis Rams, 23–16. The city previously hosted the 1939 Nashville Rebels of the American Football League and two Arena Football League teams named the Nashville Kats (1997–2001 and 2005–2007).
On April 25th-27th, 2019; Nashville hosted the 2019 NFL Draft which saw an estimated 200,000 fans attend each day.
The Nashville Predators joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team in the 1998–99 season. The team plays its home games at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators have won one division championship (2017–18) and one conference championship (2016–17).
The Nashville Sounds were established in 1978 as expansion franchise of the Double-A Southern League. The Sounds won the league championship in 1979 and 1982. In 1985, the Double-A Sounds were replaced by a Triple-A team of the American Association. After the American Association dissolved in 1997, the Sounds joined the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 1998 and won the league championship in 2005. The Sounds left their original ballpark, Herschel Greer Stadium, in 2015 for First Tennessee Park, a new ballpark built on the former site of Sulphur Dell ballpark. In total, the Sounds have won ten division titles, two conference titles, and three league championships.
Nashville SC, which began play in 2018, is an expansion club of the USL Championship. They play their home matches at First Tennessee Park. A Major League Soccer franchise of the same name is scheduled to begin play in 2020 at Nissan Stadium. It is expected to relocate to the Nashville Fairgrounds Stadium upon its planned completion in 2021.
Nashville hosts the second-oldest continually operating race track in the United States, the Fairgrounds Speedway. It hosted NASCAR Winston Cup races from 1958 to 1984, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Truck Series in the 1980s and 1990s, and later the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and ARCA Racing Series.
The Nashville Invitational was a golf tournament on the PGA Tour from 1944 to 1946. The Sara Lee Classic was part of the LPGA Tour from 1988 to 2002. The Music City Championship at Gaylord Opryland of the Champions Tour was held from 1994 to 2003. The Nashville Golf Open is part of the Web.com Tour since 2016. The 1961 Women’s Western Open and 1980 U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship were also held in Nashville.
College and amateur
The Nashville Rollergirls are Nashville’s only women’s flat track roller derby team. Established in 2006, Nashville Rollergirls compete on a regional and national level. They play their home games at the Nashville Fairgrounds Sports Arena. In 2014, they hosted the WFTDA Championships at Municipal Auditorium.
The Nashville Kangaroos are an Australian Rules Football team that compete in the United States Australian Football League. The Kangaroos play their home games at Elmington Park. The team is the reigning USAFL Central Region Champions.
Three Little League Baseball teams from Nashville (one in 1970; one in 2013; and, one in 2014) have qualified for the Little League World Series. A team from neighboring Goodlettsville qualified for the 2012 series, giving the metropolitan area teams in three consecutive years to so qualify.
Metro Board of Parks and Recreation owns and manages 10,200 acres (4,100 ha) of land and 99 parks and greenways (comprising more than 3% of the total area of the county).
Warner Parks, situated on 2,684 acres (1,086 ha) of land, consists of a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) learning center, 20 miles (32 km) of scenic roads, 12 miles (19 km) of hiking trails, and 10 miles (16 km) of horse trails. It is also the home of the annual IroquoisSteeplechase.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers maintains parks on Old Hickory Lake and Percy Priest Lake. These parks are used for activities such as fishing, water skiing, sailing and boating. The Harbor Island Yacht Club makes its headquarters on Old Hickory Lake, and Percy Priest Lake is home to the Vanderbilt Sailing Club and Nashville Shores.
On August 27, 2013, Nashville mayor Karl Dean revealed plans for two new riverfront parks on the east and west banks of the Cumberland River downtown. Construction on the east bank park began in the fall of 2013, and the projected completion date for the west bank park is 2015. Among many exciting benefits of this Cumberland River re-development project is the construction of a highly anticipated outdoor amphitheater. Located on the west bank, this music venue will be surrounded by a new 12-acre (4.9 ha) park and will replace the previous thermal plant site. It will include room for 6,500 spectators with 2,500 removable seats and additional seating on an overlooking grassy knoll. In addition, the 4.5-acre (1.8 ha) east bank park will include a river landing, providing people access to the river. In regard to the parks’ benefits for Nashvillian civilians, Mayor Dean remarked that “if done right, the thermal site can be an iconic park that generations of Nashvillians will be proud of and which they can enjoy”.
The daily newspaper in Nashville is The Tennessean, which until 1998 competed with the Nashville Banner, another daily paper that was housed in the same building under a joint-operating agreement. The Tennessean is the city’s most widely circulated newspaper. Online news service NashvillePost.com competes with the printed dailies to break local and state news. Several weekly papers are also published in Nashville, including The Nashville Pride, Nashville Business Journal, Nashville Scene and The Tennessee Tribune. Historically, The Tennessean was associated with a broadly liberal editorial policy, while The Banner carried staunchly conservative views in its editorial pages; The Banner‘s heritage had been carried on, to an extent, by The City Paper which folded in August 2013 after having been founded in October 2000. The Nashville Scene is the area’s alternative weekly broadsheet. The Nashville Pride is aimed towards community development and serves Nashville’s entrepreneurial population. Nashville Post is an online news source covering business, politics and sports.
Nashville is home to eleven broadcast television stations, although most households are served by direct cable network connections. Comcast Cable has a monopoly on terrestrial cable service in Davidson County (but not throughout the entire media market). Nashville is ranked as the 29th largest television market in the United States. Major stations include WKRN-TV 2 (ABC), WSMV-TV 4 (NBC), WTVF 5 (CBS), WNPT 8 (PBS), WZTV 17 (Fox), WNPX-TV 28 (ion), WPGD-TV 50 (TBN), WLLC-LP 42 (Univision), WUXP-TV 30 (MyNetworkTV), and WNAB 58 (CW).
Nashville is also home to cable networks Country Music Television (CMT), among others. CMT’s master control facilities are located in New York City with the other Viacom properties. The Top 20 Countdown and CMT Insider are taped in their Nashville studios. Shop at Home Network was once based in Nashville, but the channel signed off in 2008.
Several dozen FM and AM radio stations broadcast in the Nashville area, including five college stations and one LPFM community radio station. Nashville is ranked as the 44th largest radio market in the United States. WSM-FM is owned by Cumulus Media and is 95.5 FM. WSM-AM, owned by Gaylord Entertainment Company, can be heard nationally on 650 AM or online at WSM Online from its studios located inside the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. WSM is famous for carrying live broadcasts of the Grand Ole Opry, through which it helped spread the popularity of country music in America, and continues to broadcast country music throughout its broadcast day. WLAC, whose over-the-air signal is heard at 1510 AM, is a iHeartMedia-owned talk station which was originally sponsored by the Life and Casualty Insurance Company of Tennessee, and its competitor WWTN is owned by Cumulus.
Several major motion pictures have been filmed in Nashville, including The Green Mile, The Last Castle, Gummo, The Thing Called Love, Two Weeks, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Nashville, and Country Strong, as well as the ABC television series Nashville.
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