About as final as it will get

Your intrepid reporter files his last dispatch (I hope) from the NQC Relocation Front. Let’s start with Clarke Beasley’s ultimate word on the deal. In response to a question from me about the discrepancy between his remarks and his father’s and my suggestion that the vote, no matter what it was, elides the fact that the contract was a relatively short extension and not a long-term commitment, Beasley wrote:

The Nashville reporter asked me for clarification on a statement made earlier in the day by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau President. He had stated that the vote was a 4/4 tie. (I do not know who told him that, but it certainly was not me.) The question definitely caught me off guard, so I clarified to the reporter that it was a close vote that went in favor of Louisville. What I told the reporter was true. Let me just say to you that the deliberations were long and agonizing. However, in the end, the board united unanimously behind the Louisville decision. I do not mean they united for purposes of a press release and to massage public opinion. I mean they genuinely united behind the decision to stay in Louisville and to make the NQC a huge success in Louisville.

Surely that answers all the pertinent questions regarding this issue. I definitely will not get into the minutia of our Louisville contract. I will just say that the term of the contract takes us through 2009. We will not make plans beyond 2009 for another two to three years. By the way, I am not going to confirm or deny your assumptions about how the actual vote went.

My sense of the upshot is this: obviously there was at some point a vote that preceded the final unanimous decision. And it was, as Clarke makes clear here, “close” (”What I told the reporter” about the close vote “was true”). This all only matters insofar as it indicates what the future of NQC is (which is not a small deal to me): for at least two years the issue is settled. But ticked off tithers can also be pretty smart strategists, so maybe the bit about the 4-4 vote was a coded way of telling Nashville “don’t give up” and Louisville “don’t take us for granted.” In which case, this all starts over again as early as 2006.

Update: SGM expresses a sentiment I’ve heard frequently since I started posting on the NQC and its future: Why does NQC matter? The short answer is this: It matters because it’s the annual clearinghouse of sg. You could avoid concerts or performances all year long, spend a few days at NQC and still be in the thick of the music. That’s no small feat for a single event, and it accomplishes something no other industry has replicated or come close to imitating - a signal, I think, of its centrality and force in sg. No, NQC is not going to make or break sg. But it sure does make it a lot better and, not least of all, makes sg more interesting.

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