The Tennessean profiles the new Curb Event Center at Belmont University, noting that it fills a void in Nashville’s array of concert venues:
It’s not an arena, and it’s not a theater. Instead, the Curb Event Center at Belmont University is intended to sit in a sweet spot between the gargantuan buildings that house Rolling Stones concerts and professional hockey games and the intimate venues that draw well-known but not stadium-filling music shows.
“It has the potential to fill a void,” said Greg Oswald of the William Morris Agency, a company that books talent into venues. “In Nashville, we don’t have anything close to that size.”
The Curb Center – which opens Nov. 7 with the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats and which also will be home to the Belmont basketball team and to other university activities – can be configured to seat between 2,400 and 6,000 people for concerts. That’s bigger than the historic Ryman Auditorium and smaller than Gaylord Entertainment Center.
“We’re very much interested in being competitive,” said Jeff Hunter, the Curb Center’s general manager. “If we had four buildings like the Gaylord center here, it would be good for no one. But we have a great diversity in Nashville venues.”
The first music concert at the $52 million facility will be a Christmas show starring Amy Grant and Vince Gill, on Nov. 28-29. In previous years the concert was at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
Pam Matthews, general manager of the Ryman, said the Curb Event Center could help increase the number of shows coming to Nashville.
“It could fill a gap that we have here,” Matthews said. “The Opry House capacity is about the same as Curb, but the Opry House availability is limited because the Opry is there on weekends. So, this could be a good thing. I don’t look at the Curb Center as competition, because concert promoters in Nashville are close: We don’t cannibalize each others’ acts. We all get along, and I’m sure the Curb Center will fit in with that.”