Jan 3, 2023 - News

Nashville stories to watch in 2023

Photo illustration of Nashville Mayor John Cooper with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios; Photo: Leah Puttkammer/Getty Images

In early 2019, then-Metro Councilmember John Cooper made the surprise announcement that he would not be running for mayor in an interview with then-Tennessean reporter Joey Garrison.

Flashback: We know what happened next. Cooper changed his mind, entered the race in April and drubbed Briley in the runoff election.

Driving the news: It's against that backdrop of Cooper's wishy-washy tendencies that the field for the 2023 mayoral race is forming. Already three serious challengers have thrown their hats into the ring: Councilmember Sharon Hurt, Councilmember Freddie O'Connell and former city government official Matt Wiltshire.

  • The sense among insiders is that Cooper will make his re-election announcement soon. However, history teaches us that until the filing deadline arrives, nothing's official.
  • Regardless of Cooper's decision, the 2023 mayor's race is the top political story to watch in Nashville this year.

Here are some other stories we're watching this year:

📃 The legislative session: State lawmakers have already laid the groundwork for a crowded and controversial agenda for the legislative session that kicks off next week.

🏘 Housing: The fate of home prices is one of the most-watched mysteries of 2023. At least one firm is predicting a 20% drop in Nashville, while others say prices are more likely to remain steady.

ğŸŽ¶ AJ Capital Partners's concert venues: AJ Capital is poised to reshape Nashville's live music scene in 2023. Observers want to know how the development firm known for boutique hotels plans to operate the historic Rock Block music venue Exit/In.

🏈 Changes with the Titans: Despite his winning record, general manager Jon Robinson was fired by lead owner Amy Adams Strunk. Whom she hires to replace him and how that person works with coach Mike Vrabel is perhaps the biggest Nashville sports story of 2023.

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