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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Nashville Paving Way For NASCAR Return

  • Nashville Mayor John Cooper has agreed to renovate Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
  • The city has agreed to a proposal by Bristol Motor Speedway.
Sanford Myers, The Tennessean/Design: Alex Brooks

Nashville Mayor John Cooper has agreed to renovate Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in a proposal by Bristol Motor Speedway that would bring NASCAR back to the track after a 20-year hiatus. 

“The partnership will result in a modernized track that meets NASCAR series standards and transform Fairgrounds Speedway into a true multipurpose venue,” Cooper said.

The proposal still requires approval by Nashville’s Metro Sports Authority, Board of Fair Commissioners, and Metro Council to be finalized. 

  • Bristol Motor Speedway would operate, manage, and lease Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway for 30 years.
  • Nashville would issue about $75 million in revenue bonds for the renovations, up from a previous target of $50 million in March. 
  • The proposal comes amid current renovations of Nashville Fairgrounds, which is also the site of an under-construction stadium for MLS’ Nashville SC.
  • The renovated speedway will mitigate noise and expand its grandstand to seat approximately 30,000 fans, essentially doubling capacity.

NASAR went from a public to private company in 2019 after buying the balance of International Speedway Corporation for roughly $2 billion in a deal that included iconic Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. 

Its circuit of tracks lost between $150 million and $175 million in combined ticket revenue for the 2020 season due to limited fan attendance during the pandemic. 

Cooper projects the revitalized speedway will bring in $100 million annually to Nashville’s economy.

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