HVS study of proposed music museum reveals interesting info

A quick scan of the HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Consulting study —conducted to determine the economic impact of the proposed National Museum of African American Music — reveals some interesting information.

HVS, based in Chicago, determined the museum projects to annually produce $9.1 million in new revenue, 133,000 visitors per year and about 117 permanent jobs, information Nashville Post reported previously.

Of note, the study compares the planned NMAAM with existing museums of all genres, including six in Nashville, and with eight of the nation’s major African-American-themed museums. But it is the study comparing NMAAM to 10 music-themed museums that is most interesting. These include the following (with approximate annual attendance listed in parentheses; revenues per facility are not listed as ticket prices vary):

• the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville (420,000 visitors)
• the American Jazz Museum, Kansas City (300,000)
• the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland (477,000)
• the Rock n Soul Museum, Memphis (50,000)
• the Experience Music Project, Seattle (511,000)
• the Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix (200,000)
• the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis (42,500)
• the Grammy Museum, Los Angeles (64,900)
• the B.B. King Museum and the Delta Interpretive Center, Indianola, Miss. (25,000)
• the International Bluegrass Music Museum, Owensboro, Ky. (24,500)

The 10 aforementioned civic attractions average about 212,000 visitors per year. So the projected 133,000 visitors the NMAAM is expected to draw would seem reasonable.

Other key study findings include the following:

• The size of the proposed NMAAM would be well below the average size of the 10 comparable facilities.

• NMAAM is expected to charge an adult admission ticket price below those of industry-leading music museums.

• Most of the comparable African American-themed museums are located in densely populated areas. On average, eight million residents live within two hours of these comparable venues, as compared to approximately 3.4 million living within a two-hour drive of downtown Nashville. However, with the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles removed from the calculation, the average population within a two-hour drive time to the comparable music-themed museums is approximately 3.2 million.

• Many visitors to the $47.5 million NMAAM will include tourists, both national and foreign. The study notes that in recent years, foreign tourists have increasingly attended music-themed museums, particularly those in the southeastern United States.

• Music-themed museums offer a significantly greater number of weekly hours of operation than those with a focus on African American culture and history (which the NMAAM was to have been in its original iteration). 

HVS conducted a similar study, submitted in January 2010, regarding the then-planned Music City Center convention facility.

Feb 24, 2012 6:30 AM