NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Metro Council Tuesday night will debate the fate of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, located south of downtown Nashville.
Councilman Eric Crafton filed a bill that would prevent Nashville from using the fairgrounds property for anything other than its current purpose, which is for a fair, racetrack, bus parking and other very specific uses.
The mayor's office announced Monday night the fairgrounds will operate for an additional six months, or until December 2010.
Mayor Karl Dean had planned to close the site in June of next year.
Legendary NASCAR driver and Columbia native Sterling Marlin is fighting to save the speedway on the fairgrounds.
"I've come out here since I was probably two months old, you know, I've raced it, my dad's raced it, my son's raced, my daughter's raced it, it's a lot of history, it's the second oldest track in the United States and to see it go away is just devastating," he said. "You know the track here, if they shut it down, they're going to lose about $800,000 to $1 million in sales tax just on the race track side alone."
Even though the fairgrounds will stay open through next December, there will not be a state fair in 2010 and the race track will not stay open.