The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has approved a grant of up to $12.5 million to support the local production of ABC’s Nashville, the agency announced Monday.
Mayor Karl Dean has also agreed, on behalf of Metro, to provide a $500,000 cash grant for the production of the show, something that Dean’s office has previously referred to as advertising the city can’t buy.
There had been speculation about the possibility of the show leaving Nashville for its second season, but ABC confirmed last week  that the show would remain in its title city.
“Nashville offers a valuable international platform to showcase our state’s dynamic entertainment industry, while providing a confluence of film and music that is unique only to Tennessee,” ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said in a release from the department. “Promoting and assisting this thriving business sector is an integral part of our state’s economic development efforts. From our rich musical heritage to our talented artists and crew, Tennessee’s entertainment industry is second to none. I am pleased Nashville producers recognize the value of filming in Music City, and I look forward to another great season.”
ECD noted that the grant will be based on “qualified expenditures,” defined as “those incurred in the state for goods or services purchased from a Tennessee vendor or paid to a Tennessee resident in connection with the production.”
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. and the Event Marketing Fund will each contribute a cash grant of $125,000. The production is expected to generate more than $40 million in local spending, according to ECD.
“Small and large Nashville businesses have benefited greatly from the local filming of Nashville, not only from the direct spending related to the show but also from the worldwide attention this show has generated for our city and our state. With beautiful scenic shots of our landscape and the portrayal of our unique music scene, more people, without a doubt, are visiting our city and spending their money here because they’ve seen this hour-long commercial for Music City that airs every week during primetime,” said Dean, in a prepared statement. “The city’s investment in Nashville this season is a recognition that this show benefits our local economy and is opening doors to further grow the film and television industry here.”
Pre-production for the show’s second season is already underway, and filming is set to begin in mid-July.