Saturday, October 7, 2017

Fairgrounds backers slam proposal for Nashville Major League Soccer stadium.

Last night supporters of the Metro Fairgrounds turned out in numbers for a public comments session of the Metro Fair Board and voiced their adamant opposition to Mayor Barry's proposed $250 million dollar soccer stadium on the site of the fairgrounds. There was special opposition stated to the give away of ten acres of property to a private developer for a mixed use and affordable housing development. 

A few years ago former Mayor Karl Dean tried to abolish the fairground and have the property redeveloped.  Citizens rallied and stopped the proposal and got the Metro Charter amended to protect the fairgrounds. Now it appears Mayor Barry is trying to accomplish what Mayor Dean could not but by doing it incrementally. The fairground site is already too small for a really quality state fair. That was the conclusion of a costly consultants report a few years ago.  If the city gives away the site little at a time, the fairgrounds will be much to small to serve as a fairground. Then, the state fair will relocate to another county and that will make it even more difficult to preserve the fairgrounds without a fair.

It is my view that the sophisticates who embrace Nashville's "it city" status are embarrassed by things like auto racing, flea markets and fairs. While now, city leaders and everyone voice support for the music industry there was a time when sophisticates were embarrassed by "hillbilly" music.  It was only with reluctance that the snobbish class embraced the moniker "music city" when they realized it was the economic engine that drove tourism which drove the economy. So while the sophisticates, many of them transplants to our city, have accepted country music they would still like to rid Nashville of its southern, rural, and "redneck," image. Fairs, flea markets, and auto racing simply do not fit the image of what they want Nashville to be.

To read The Tennessean's report on the meeting see, Fairgrounds backers slam proposal for Nashville Major League Soccer stadium.

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