Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Councilman Robert Swope explain the latest developments at the Fairgrounds in radio interveiw.

Robert Swope
by Rod Williams, August 15, 2018 - Councilman Robert Swope was interviewed  on WTN 99.7 radio yesterday. He explained what is going on at the fairgrounds. This is insightful and informative. If you care about the future of he fairgrounds, you really need to hear this interview. Follow this link.

The interviewer ask Robert about a proposal to place a classic car action and a racing museum at the fairgrounds. There has been some concern expressed about these proposals.  Swope explains this is just talk at this point but if it comes to fruition It could be a good thing.

My view is that a proposed classic car auction operation at the fairgrounds would not be a detrimental development but a positive development and compatible with other uses at the fairgrounds. A race track hall of fame or museum could be a great addition. This is the first I had heard about a proposal for a classic car auction. Apparently, they bring in people from all over the country and are a really big deal.

I have heard this idea of a racing museum floated for a long time and think it would be a great addition.  It would be compatible with other Fairground uses and could make money for the Fairgrounds, and enhance its recognition. Nashville has a rich racing history and a museum to display that history and memorabilia would give tourist one more thing to see in Nashville. I think it would be a big hit, if done right, and am supportive. Swope points out that no one has proposed the city fund such a museum or a classic car auction and that these uses would not cost the taxpayers but make money for the city.

Swope reveals that  Speedway Motorsports, Inc  which owns Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol, Vegas, and other major speedways, has made a proposal to the city to invest millions in upgrading the speedway and leasing it from the city. Swope says the city will not give them "time of day."  This is a big deal. Speedway Motorsport is the largest player in the racetrack industry, yet the city is not even interested in talking to them. This is an outrage.

I am convinced the city insiders are determined to eventually get rid of the race track, the fair, and the flea market. I simply think they are embarrassed by those aspects of Nashville that reflect working-class or middle-class values or "old" Nashville. While in the last twenty years, Nashville movers and shakers have embraced Nashville as "Music City," for a very long time the same class of people who are embarrassed by flea markets and race tracks were embarrassed by country music. Flea markets and race tracks are not compatible with the hip vibe they want the "it" city to project.

Thanks to Robert Swope and others like Steve Glover, and before them, councilmen like Duane Dominy and Robert Duvall, the fairgrounds is still here. I think if the  ten acre giveaway occurs the days of the fairgrounds are numbered.

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