Future of the Fairgrounds Nashville includes greenways

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Major League Soccer stadium would greatly impact our area, and the Metro Council is expected to take up the legislation to finance the stadium in less than two weeks.

That, and the mayor’s transit plan, are part of the bigger revitalization plan for Nashville that includes plans for an eventual greenway that circles the downtown area.

A MLS stadium at the fairgrounds is getting closer to becoming a reality.

“Just this week another city, Charlotte, who was in the running for this, openly admitted that they are bowing out of this round because we have done such a good job in our proposals,” said District 17 Councilman Colby Sledge.

This soccer stadium would be a big deal for Nashville, even if you’re not a soccer fan.

“This property is more than 120 acres, so we’re talking about not only a soccer stadium, but new buildings for the expo and event center, we’re talking about a potential multi-use or mixed use development, things that will compliment everything that’s going on there now and bring people to the fairgrounds more often and quite frankly to spend more money while they’re there,” said Representative Sledge.

In addition to all of that, there’s a plan to eventually have a greenway system that stretches from the fairgrounds to the downtown area, so people would be able to get from one to the other by biking or walking.

“We’re talking about the Brown’s Creek Greenway which would connect to the 440 greenway that we’re working on funding for and building now, and what the goal is, is to create that southern loop for greenways around the urban core so that you could take a greenway anywhere around downtown Nashville,” Councilman Sledge told News 2.

According to Sean Braisted with the Mayor’s Office, the Browns Creek Greenway is part of the master plan for Metro’s Greenway system.

He said, “The first segment of Browns Creek Greenway, ½ mile of trail, has been constructed on Battlemont Park at ParkTerrace, west of I-440. Future plans are to connect these trails at Battlemont Park to the future 440 Greenway near Franklin Road under the I-440/I-65 interchange. From there, the trail will follow Browns Creek toward the Cumberland River, connecting up with the existing downtown greenway system in the Rolling Mill Hill area. The trail is proposed to provide connectivity to the Fairgrounds, Trevecca, commercial and residential areas, however a specific overall route and timeline has not yet been determined and funding will be requested in phases.”

Councilman Colby Sledge says the soccer stadium project is projected to have an annual impact of $15 to $17 million a year.

He said, “Part of it goes to the general fund, part of it goes to pay off the stadium, different pieces go to different places and part of it goes to the fairgrounds to help make sure that we’re maintaining and upgrading that property.”

He also said he’s had overwhelming support from members of his district, and doesn’t think that’s going to change.>

The next step is for Metro Council to vote on the financing plan, which is scheduled for Nov. 7.

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