NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A landmark deal has been reached to renovate Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
The Nashville Metropolitan Mayor’s Office and Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) reached an agreement to renovate and lease the historic track and transform the speedway into a year-round, multipurpose venue that will host NASCAR and non-racing, revenue-generating events.
BMS will cover the cost for track renovations and ongoing maintenance.
“Partnering with Bristol allows Nashville to preserve our 131-year tradition of racing at the Fairgrounds and bring the legendary speedway back to life as a valuable and exciting part of the modernized Fairgrounds,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper in a statement.
The investment includes reducing noise by about 50% from the current conditions, modernizing safety features for all, replacing the grandstand, and adding a multi-purpose event space.
“Much like the Ryman is to music, the fairgrounds is to motorsports and we want to be able to preserve that,” said BMS President Jerry Caldwell.
It’s estimated the speedway would generate about $200 million annually through visitor spending in hotels, restaurants and other local attractions.
The Fair Board will provide two open-forum discussions as commissioners review the contract. A formal vote will be held in January 2023.
“It’s been a long process, lots of conversations, and lots of working together with the city, with neighborhood, with Fair Board Representatives to make sure that we address all of these, all of the opportunities that are on the table, and make sure that we can create a situation that’s a win for everyone,” Caldwell said. “That’s why we’re so excited. We think we’ve been able to accomplish that.”
Once approved by the Board of Fair commissioners, the contract will be presented to Metro Council for review and approval and then to the Sports Authority for the final sign-off before returning to the mayor’s office for the binding signature.