Nashville mayor halts plan to chop down trees for NFL draft stage


The mayor of Nashville has stepped in to stop a plan to cut down 21 cherry trees to make room for the outdoor stage for the NFL draft.

“After hearing the public response over the planned cutting of 21 of the 68 ornamental cherry trees at Riverfront Park, I informed the NFL and Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. that they will have to remove them intact and replant them in our city,” Mayor David Briley wrote on Twitter. “The NCVC and NFL will replace the removed trees with 21 new ones, and will also plant 17 more at Riverfront Park in previously vacant and new locations. The NCVC will pay for the relocation and for any sidewalk damage. The NCVC and NFL have also agreed to plant an additional 200 cherry trees—for a total of 238 planted—across the city at fire halls, libraries, parks and in other places to continue to honor our relationship with Japan and long-time partnership with the Cherry Blossom Festival. Due to the change of plans at Riverfront Park, nothing will happen on Monday.”

The idea to chop down trees was never a smart one. Although the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation was overseeing the logistics and probably deserves the bulk of the blame, the NFL should have known that the takeaway from many in Nashville would be, “The NFL is coming to town and chopping down our trees.” The league has made the draft a traveling road show because it wants to attract more fans to its biggest offseason event, and anything that gives the NFL bad PR is unwise.

38 responses to “Nashville mayor halts plan to chop down trees for NFL draft stage

  1. The arrogance of this is why lots of people are turned off by the big business the NFL is. Lets hope it pours rain for three straight days in Nashville.

    Removing them intact carries a risk as well, will be interesting to know in a years’ time how many died from the shock of being “removed intact”. Anybody who has moved a tree knows this is a risk.

    Tree huggers united.

  2. They just don’t have a way at NFL headquarters to anticipate and avoid these PR problems.

    You know, with them being in NYC and these draft things happening in Nashville, which is very far away.

    Maybe they should hire someone whose job it is to figure this stuff out.

  3. Proud of Nashville’s Mayor for standing up for the city! The big bad NFL is coming to town and the draft is a big deal! But, as quick as they are here they will be gone! Chopping down 30 year old trees for a one week show was a poor idea.

  4. I wonder what college the “marketing” genius who came up with the “cut the trees” plan graduated from. As dumb as it was, it had to be a college graduate who came up with it.

  5. Couldn’t they just make the stage smaller? There’s only going to be two people on it at a time

  6. Obviously it took public backlash for the mayor to realize this was a short sighted and narrow minded plan. His lack of foresight and common sense leads me to believe he’s related to Goodell.

  7. Change locations. Regardless of the intention to replace the trees and plant new ones. It is wrong for a big money nfl to destroy years of significant memories and photographs for a one time three day event. No other event in the cities history has been important enough for these trees to be removed. Is the nfl so big that the nfl does not listen to public opinion. And the public opinion has been shunned several times lately. Maybe it will rain non stop. These events should be held in suitable arenas. I hope all nfl fans continue to be heard loud and clear. NFL you as an organization, your teams, owners, coaches and players need to come back to the reality that you need fans to continue.

  8. rpw84 says:
    March 31, 2019 at 7:23 am
    Proud of Nashville’s Mayor for standing up for the city! The big bad NFL is coming to town and the draft is a big deal! But, as quick as they are here they will be gone! Chopping down 30 year old trees for a one week show was a poor idea.
    I get the NFL is an easy bash but this is about the NCVC over selling to try and get the draft not the NFL. Goodell didn`t go to Nashville and say if you cut down those 21 trees you can have it the NCVC had that in their proposal that was accepted.

  9. ““The NFL is coming to town and chopping down our trees.” ”

    Not just any trees but cheery trees which are exceptionally beautiful while the blossoms are out.

  10. Agree w the guy who said “fit” the staging INTO the landscape. I’ve setup hundreds of events, and their stage “requirements” are actually quite simple for this event. They absolutely could have found a way to USE the trees as PART of the “stage view” – as a TRIBUTE to the beauty of Nashville – unique to the location – and really cool.

    But that would take “creativity” – not exactly NFL mentality.

  11. Instead of using the locality to add unique flavor, one should always destroy the locality and install pre-packaged flavor designed for mass consumption.

    So these trees should be destroyed to 1: a McDonald’s and 2: an American Idol sidestage

    nyc will always be nfl draft centra/homel
    philly was a close 1a or 1b option
    and dallas wasnt as bad
    just need another 4th place city ? out west just like dallas eg: LA or vegas needs a try

  13. They wanted to remove a bunch last year too, on the U of MN campus last year too. For the Awards event on campus.

  14. Leave the freakin trees alone and plant the 200 new trees anyway as a penalty for being stupid.

  15. They have machines that literally can scoop out a 40’+ tall tree in one motion and scoop out the same size hole in another location to replant the tree and root ball with close to zero risk. It’s done by nurseries every day. It’s not like they use picks and shovels. It’s 2019, not 1800.

  16. While true some trees maybe replanted, there is a limit of the height of said tree. Further much of the foliage must be cut way back. I am not against growth and progress. The once in a lifetime NFL draft is not progress. And the destruction of memories created in those groves of trees certainly is unacceptable. The NFL has become a source of controversy and unacceptable behaviors by grown men, both on and off the field. Were these same activities conducted by men of no means, many would be in jail. NFL it is the customer who allows you to live in the top 1/2 of 1 percent. Pride does come before fall. Always.

  17. Gee…. if only Nashville had some sort of venue with a big stage, a bunch of seats, and a sound system….Nope, nothing comes to mind…..smh

  18. To cut down mature trees for a temporary 3 day event is the height of stupidity. The people at the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp have their minds way out of whack – their kissing butt of the NFL has gotten way out of hand. These people should be embarrassed.

  19. As a retired landscape contractor I know this is probably nothing more than a feel good solution.
    The care required to re-establish large transplanted trees is significant.
    I’be done similar projects with municipalities, and since they don’t budget for three to five years of maintanence, it’s likely there will be an 80% mortality rate.
    Just doing away with the big outdoor stage is a much better idea.

  20. This is Roger Goodell’s NFL. Not smart enough to see even the most obvious PR disasters. And the odds are extremely high within the next day or two the NFL will prolong this story by issuing a statement claiming it was Nashville’s idea to begin with. Because they won’t be smart enough to know that they’ll look worse the longer the story persists.

  21. I still can’t believe the NFL pays Goodell $40 million a year, and he’s possibly the worst commissioner of any professional sports league ever!

  22. I still can`t believe how many people don`t understand that it was the NCVC that put that in their proposal bid not the NFL telling them to do it. Acting like the “big bad NFL” went to Nashville and looked around and said well you`ll have to cut those 21 trees down to get the bid is moronic. I don`t understand why so many people love to be fake outraged these days but at least pretend to be mad at the right people.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.