Monday, January 25, 2016 08:00 AM


On April 1, 1993, during his State of Metro Address, then-Mayor Phil Bredesen shared his vision for Nashville.

In what became known as the "helicopter speech" because he described his vision as if flying over the city, Bredesen projected a downtown including a new arena which would spark economic resurgence.

NHL All-Star Weekend is the latest example of how Bredesen's vision and the reality that developed has provided tremendous economic impact to Lower Broadway and revitalized the entire city.

It changed many lives, too, including these seven:

The adviser: Dave CooleyBuy Photo

Dave Cooley (Photo: The Tennessean)

"There had been a couple of studies and general discussions about building an arena, but nothing ever serious," said Dave Cooley, an adviser to Bredesen as mayor and governor.

"Then, in his State of Metro speech on April 1, 1993, he laid out a vision of an arena, a stadium, a symphony hall, a country music hall of fame. It's pretty amazing to look back at that speech. The mission was to revitalize downtown.

"When he took office, there were police cars parked up on the (Broadway) sidewalks with their blue lights; they were on the sidewalks, not beside the sidewalks. His thinking was to make the major public investment that would build confidence and spur investment."

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See also: Trauger