May 24, 2024 11:00am

Power Pollers believe Oracle WILL COME

Plus: Cicadas, Events the City Needs, and Summer Heat Predictions

Photo of Bruce Dobie
Nashville, TN Correspondent

A month ago, Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison announced in an off-the-cuff way that he planned to relocate his company’s world headquarters from Austin to Nashville. Even he acknowledged, in his on-stage discussion with local business leader Bill Frist, that maybe he shouldn’t have let that slip.

But he did. And even if it sounded not extremely well thought out, the news shook the city.

Most Nashville Power Pollers (47%) take Ellison at his word even if it may not have been the slickest way to get the word out. If Members are correct, it’s just pouring gasoline on the fire that is our city’s economy.

In other news from Power Poll’s May survey:

  • Members were asked to opine on their top choice of a new, huge event that we might get to come to Nashville. In other words, given that we appear to be able to get what we want, what event would Power Pollers like to see come here? The numero uno selection was… The Super Bowl, in our brand new stadium. The Grammy Awards placed second, the Nashville Sundance Film Festival third, and Coachella East fourth. A spirited discussion from members in the Comments section suggested a variety of other events we might want to lure here.
  • As to predictions on this summer’s weather, most do not think we will break the all-time heat record of 109 degrees, which was set in 2012.
  • And as to our fourth and final question, responses were fairly even as to whether members love the sound of our serenading cicadas or hate their sound. (I am anti-cicada. How can anyone be pro-cicada. Whiners all.)

A total of 922 Power Poll members responded to this month’s Power Poll, tying the exact number who voted the previous month, and representing 43.63% of those who were sent ballots. Here are the exact questions, and answers, from this month’s survey:

Context I: Larry Ellison and the Oracle Bombshell

If Oracle were to relocate here today, which we all know would be impossible, it would rank as the second largest corporation in the city, behind Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). That is how big a deal it is. This is a very large addition to our city’s GLP (Gross Local Product) and it represents a very large addition of economic activity in this city.

Speaking of HCA, it’s not just coincidence that Ellison wants to set up shop where the number one corporation is all about healthcare. He took pains to say he was keen on relocating his database and software firm in a city where there’s so much activity in healthcare. As he sees the future, there’s growth in treating people who are sick.

Oracle will alter yet more of Nashville’s cityscape. The morning newspaper summarized his description of the campus as being like a “park with buildings” on it. The campus is to be built on 70 acres of downtown riverfront purchased by Oracle in 2021.

We look forward to placing Ellison and his top execs in Power Poll Nashville.

Context II: Event City USA

Given that we can pretty much host any kind of event these days, we came up with a list of events that we as a city might be able to host, and we asked members to rank them. We also asked members to submit their own events that they would like to see come here.

Highly interesting: political conventions were almost absent from the discussion. I guess we’re all tired of the shouting.

As to the number one choice, the Super Bowl, it is fair to say that it is the single most popular entertainment and sports event in the world. So of course we would want it.

Elsewhere in the comments were some very fine nominations of events we should be pursuing (and probably already are): the NCAA Final Four Basketball Tournament (which seemed to get the most nominations); the NAACP Image Awards; the return of the hot air balloon fest; World Cup Soccer; NCAA football playoffs; the Summer Olympics; and on and on.

Meanwhile, in one of the more off-beat (but very legitimate) suggestions, I must give a shout-out to Bill Koch, Dean of the Nashville School of Law, for suggesting that we host the American Bar Association convention. Even now I can hear 10,000 sets of Johnson & Murphy lace-ups making their way down Lower Broad.

Context III: Putting the Hot in the Record Books

What is the hottest temperature ever measured at Nashville International Airport? It was 109 degrees on June 29, 2012. Scorcher of a day.

Will we break that record this summer?

52% say no. 31% say yes. (I say yes. It’s gonna get bad people.)

Context IV: Sing to Me, Sweet Cicadas, Then Go Home Quickly for Another 15 Years

Utilizing our super-duper, sliding scale poll survey tool, we asked members to rank what they think of the noise the cicadas are producing, with 1 being “I love their sound” and 5 being “I detest their sound.”

The response left me nothing short of amazed. Out of these 5 points, we as a group landed at 3.2. This means it was almost evenly split between lovers and haters.

Have these lovers spent any time in their backyard this week? It’s shriek city.

Maybe the lovers just love the regenerative nature of cicadas, that something in the natural cycle is still working according to plan. Unlike global warming, which appears radically unleased, the cicadas still arrive on time and buzz on like there’s no tomorrow. At least mankind hasn’t wiped out the cicadas. Yet.

Power Poll Members: Do you have a friend or colleague who should be on Power Poll? Please invite them to join!

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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