Democrat Mayor John Cooper: Nashville Has No Money Available to Host Republican National Convention


Nashville Mayor John Cooper says the city has no money to host the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Nashville during his COVID-19 news conference Thursday.

The issue of hosting the RNC came up earlier this week when the host state of North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper expressed public safety concerns about holding such a large-scale event during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, reported The Washington Times.

In the past, Nashville has had financial woes, due to years of poor management, which has only been exacerbated by the March 3 tornadoes and the coronavirus economic shutdown.

Cooper announced Thursday that the Music City will remain in Phase Two of the Roadmap for Reopening Nashville with daily monitoring of the public health benchmarks to start Phase Three as soon as it is safely possible.

In addition to a projected revenue shortage of $215.8 million during the current 2019-2020 fiscal year, Cooper’s budget also estimates a negative revenue impact of $280.6 million for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Despite these known revenue losses, Cooper’s budget proposal does not reduce the current year’s budget for the estimated shortfall in this year’s budget and instead includes an increase of $115.9 million for 2020-2021.

To accommodate his budget, Cooper has proposed a 32 percent property tax increase, which is strongly opposed by at least two Nashville-based grassroots groups, and, The Tennessee Star reported.

Cooper wanted to “be clear” that Nashville’s current health protocols, which have been carefully established and publicly identified, would not support the RNC which is scheduled more than two months out, from August 24 to 27.

While Cooper said that there’s certainly no money available for hosting the event, he did not address the millions of dollars of local financial impact and what it might do for Nashville’s economy that suffered the steepest COVID-19 consumer spending drop in the nation, as reported by The Star.

For the 2016 RNC host city of Cleveland, Ohio, the region saw as much as $188.4 million of economic benefit, WCPO 9 reported.

According to Money magazine, the previous two Republican nominating conventions resulted in direct spending of nearly $154 million for St. Paul in 2014 and $214 million in Tampa Bay in 2012.

Political conventions not only provide their host cities short-term financial infusions but platforms for long-term impact due to the increased media coverage leading up to and just after the conventions, WCPO 9 also said.

Cooper did not elaborate on what expenses he expected Nashville to incur or the amount.  He also did not discuss what role the Metro Nashville Convention Center Authority (CCA) could potentially play in hosting the RNC.

A February 2019 report shows that the CCA anticipated an operating surplus of $58 million in the fiscal year 2020.

The direct economic impact of all of the CCA’s 236 planned events for 2020 was estimated at $543 million.

Even based on the RNCs lowest contributions to the host city’s local economy in recent years, Nashville could stand to gain as much as a quarter of the estimated economic impact by hosting the one RNC event.

Governor Bill Lee has said his office is in discussions about moving the convention to Nashville.

“We would certainly be interested in welcoming that to our city,” Lee said. It would be a great opportunity for us to build upon the economic recovery that’s already occurring,” reported WKRN News 2.

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Convention, while delayed from its original dates in July to the week of August 17, due to COVID-19, will still be held at the Fiserv Forum in the Democrat stronghold city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Laura Baigert is a senior reporter at The Tennessee Star.
Photo “John Cooper” by John Cooper. 






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37 Thoughts to “Democrat Mayor John Cooper: Nashville Has No Money Available to Host Republican National Convention”

  1. Dan Lewis

    I won’t pretend to understand all he ins and outs of local and regional government and its economic gymnastics – but this sure sounds like an open door for some greedy Republican Billionaires to take over in Nashville.
    I hope that doesn’t happen.

  2. Stacy

    The typical response of a communist!

      1. Jim

        Hey Bryant, What’s your point?

        Your attached story does raise an interesting point. If political conventions don’t bring benefits to the local economy, then how do ANY events bring benefits to a local economy? How and why then did we spend a billion tax dollars to build a Music City Center? And why are hotels springing up like weeds?

        Are you saying that vacant land brings more revenue and jobs than a multi story high rise hotel? Try some critical thinking for a change! I don’t like government funded projects like the MCC, BUT, there is no doubt that infrastructure that brings people and their money in from other places does bring jobs and tax revenues!

  3. Throw the Coopers out of office

    Why have the RNC here and generate much needed City revenue when you can take 32% out of the pockets of city property owner. We need to send a message, retire his brother from Congress first this year and then the mayor.

  4. Gene Dunlap

    By all means, invite the RNC to Nashville for their convention! Don’t be stupid!!!

  5. Bobby Shores

    This is what happens when you elect democrats, every big city in America where they are in power suffers economically.

  6. Austin

    Nancy Pelosi told Congressman Jim Cooper, and Jim Cooper told brother Mayor John Cooper, No Republican Convention in Nashville! Besides, Nashville wouldn’t need the money generated by the Republican convention, as the 32% property tax raise will be enough!

  7. MAGA

    Where’s all the money he was going to use to build the soccer stadium?

    1. Rochelle

      Don’t need here don’t want it here.

      1. William Finch

        To what are your referring to? The MLS stadium or the RNC convention? If you are referring to the MLS stadium then you are costing the people money. If you are referring to the RNC convention you are making money for the people. Remember that Tennessee is a RED state while Nashville is a blue area. Making money for the people will greatly reduce the proposed “crooked” tax increase. Think about it!

  8. rick

    RECALL Cooper!

  9. Monica Beach

    You cannot use the “social distancing” narrative because Mayor Cooper invited and participated in the First Nashville protest (that eventually became violent rioting of the courthouse and lower Broadway & 2nd Ave. Additionally, just yesterday Nashville allowed a huge protest for the same reason as the 1st but this time MUCH LARGER crowd. Maybe Nashvillians should storm his office in PROTEST of a 32% tax increase while turning down a massive convention that would bring huge amounts of money to the city. Ask the hotels, restaurants & bars on Broadway what THEY think !

  10. Wolf Woman

    But the city does have enough money to host the riotous convention downtown of Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

  11. Beatrice Shaw

    He is a good man He is well connected His brother is a United States of America Congressman, which as anyone knows gets us a lot of extras for medical care, roads and education. This mayor is doing a good job and he is right that we can’t host a big event with people close together. He has been very consistent and should not bend for money and especially Republicans in this day and age.

    1. Jim

      Let me help fill in the “blanks” and fix the punctuation of Ms Shaw’s argument.

      He is a good FOR NOTHING man. He is well connected TO THE CRONIES WHO HAVE BEEN BANKRUPTING NASHVILLE CITIZENS FOR YEARS. His brother is a United States of America Congressman, which as anyone knows STEALS MONEY FROM OUR LEFT POCKET TO PUT 50 CENTS IN OUR RIGHT POCKET, AND gets us a lot of extras THAT WE PAY FOR for medical care, roads and education WHILE AT THE SAME TIME HANDSOMELY FILLING HIS OWN POCKET! This mayor is doing a good job CONTINUING THE FLEECING OF NASHVILLE CITIZENS and he is right that we can’t host a big event with people WHO ARE ACTIVELY LOOKING TO END HIS AND HIS BROTHER’S GRAVE TRAIN. He has been very consistent IN HIS LYING.

      Thanks for the clarification Beatrice!

      1. 83ragtop50

        Thank you, Jim, for the clarifications.

        The Cooper brothers are the poster children for what is wrong with Nashville and America.

    2. lb

      Is this a SERIOUS comment? He is a “good man”??? ARE YOU REALLY making that Statement after his ENCOURAGEMENT/PROMOTION/PARTICIPATION of the RIOT that destroyed Dwtwn over the weekend?
      We cant host a big event? WHAT do you call the PROTEST RIOT he PROMOTED and PARTICIPATED in this weekend AND the one he PRAISED last night that drew 10K people?
      This “close together” nonsense has been DISPROVED already. ENOUGH. OPEN this City and invite ANYONE who wants to spend $ here to come.
      His Brother is a Do Nothing Congressman? Gets lots of money for roads? Have you SEEN the condition of the roads?
      He is “consistent”? He is consistently INCOMPETENT and gave decision making over to UNELECTED people (Janghair/HealthDept) who havent been right YET.

    3. Kim

      Beatrice Shaw,
      His “well connected brother” has done zero for the 5th district. He is a back bencher who votes as Pelosi tells him. Definition of Lap Dog.

  12. William Finch

    WoW! I’ll bet if the DNC wanted to have their convention here the mayor would open all doors and the cash would appear in tractor trailers loads. Such a pitiful excuse of a mayor. With the expected opportunity of cash inflow from the RNC convention the proposed tax increase would be lowered considerably. OH no he’d rather the tax payers pay for the mismanagement and the overspending of the government.

  13. Freeman

    Why did we spend all of that debt to build the Nashville Music City Center, if we aren’t interested in having big events? Is it that the Music City Center really doesn’t add to the City coffers? Why were so many hotels built, if we don’t want people coming here? Isn’t Republican money just as good as Democrat money?

    At least Megan Berry went to the cemetery with only her bodyguard. Mini Cooper is dragging the whole city, and us with it, to the grave!

    1. Daryl Houston

      Haha…mini Cooper. That’s funny!

  14. JJ

    Let me get this straight….the mayor wants to increase property taxes by 32% because of a massive deficit due in large part to years of mis-management of funds and recent events beyond his control. Now refuses to accept an opportunity to bring in millions of dollars ($100-200 million) to the city which would help off-set some of the deficit. Makes sense to me. (sarcasm)

  15. John J.

    We had the flood in 2010, and everybody including leadership pitched in to rebuild so that
    Fan-Fair and the rest of life in Nashville could go on. Now, although the City just erupted in flames, the damage was significantly less than the flood. What has changed in ten years that now leadership doesn’t want to help get the City back on it’s feet?

    This Mayor Cooper is terrible!

  16. Julie

    So I don’t know if Mayor Cooper has heard of investing activities, it where you spend some money to make even more money. And this guy is in charge of developing the budget for the city?

  17. Ron Welch

    I heard it reported on the news that Mayor Cooper’s order restricting gatherings to 25 is still in effect! Really? Yet he encouraged and participated in a much, much larger “protest” gathering. I wonder if the protesters support justice and equality and no discrimination? Clearly Mayor Cooper does not! As it has been said, “we are all equal, but some are more equal than others”. And he has decided it is OK to give preferential treatment to some while AT THE SAME TIME, to discriminate against others FOR THE SAME THING!!

  18. Pissed Off Nashvillian

    Those attending the RNC won’t jump and down on police cars or burn down the city.

    1. Rochelle

      Right they’ll just start racist riots

  19. Russ Crouch

    No surprise here. Just had to figure out which excuse to use. I guess after spitting in the face of his own orders on keeping people apart, he had to use this one. Other than taxing people till they have to leave the city, he has NO answer.

  20. Rick

    What a moron! Cooper and his useless brother need to be run out of town! Useless democrap trash!

  21. CCW

    I agree. How would it look for a budding sanctuary city like Nashville to be hosting the RNC convention? Let’s move it to Florida.

  22. James Rogers

    Hosting the Republican natiional conventon would be a huge opportunity for Nashville to make a huge amount of money. Yet our stupid mayor, John Cooper, just doesn’t seem to get it.

    1. Karen Bracken

      Cooper is NOT stupid. The people who elected him are the stupid ones.

    2. Richard WB

      I understand your post, and I’m sure there probably are “other” reasons why a Democratic mayor might not be interesting in hosting the GOP convention.

      But, as a resident of Shelby County and knowing our fiscal woes, I’ve been shocked regarding how bad the financial picture really is for Nashville/Davidson.

  23. Angelito

    Of course, Mayor Cooper has shown his true colors—an unapologetic liberal democrat who puts DNC goals way ahead of the good of Nashville residents. Recall this turd.

    1. Karen Bracken

      Get the recall petition started!! What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for someone else to do it?