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'Nashville' tour sells out every Sunday

3:31 PM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
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By Heidi Hall | The Tennessean

Look over to your left at that grassy knoll.

That's where Lamar Wyatt secretly discussed all the money he'd make on a downtown Nashville baseball field.

That bridge over there? Overlooking the skyline? Rayna Jaymes and Deacon Claybourne met in the middle for their umpteenth relationship rehash.

And you know how it looks like Deacon and his niece's houses are across town from each other? Not so much.

Die-hard fans of the show "Nashville" on ABC are learning about all those locations and more since a Gray Line tour of them launched April 21 -- and has sold out every Sunday since.

For three and a half hours, fans ride shoulder-to-shoulder on a 25-seater, visiting the Bluebird Cafe, the 5 Spot and at least 10 other stops. Curious locals and star-struck tourists come together to talk about their favorite scenes and characters -- and what the heck's going to happen next season.

"Now Deacon's fallen off the wagon, and there was that crash at the end," Michelle Woltemath of Aurora, Colo., said breathlessly. "We booked this tour before we even got to Nashville."

The tour line had a breathless spring itself, first waiting to hear whether "Nashville" would be renewed for a second season and then whether producers would shoot it here again. Lucky for Gray Line and the fans, $13.25 million in state and local perks recently lured it back.

"We're an ABC-approved tour, so we were very much on pins and needles," said Kate Kleinrock, Gray Line of Tennessee's retail sales division manager.

The tour may be popular, but it isn't intrusive -- at at least not for Matt Walker, who lives in character Scarlett O'Connor's house.

"I don't know that we even noticed there's a tour that comes by," he said.

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