Thursday, December 20, 2018

Councilman Robert Swope on the move to return NASCAR to the Fairgrounds.

12-20-2018- The Tennessean this morning reported that Speedway Motorsports has struck a deal with the fairgrounds racetrack operator Tony Formosa that paves the way for the return of NASCAR to the fairgrounds. While there are still details that remain to be worked out and while it is not yet a done deal, today's announcement is significant.

While many people have fought to save the fairground, Councilman Swope deserves the bulk of the credit for saving the historic Fairgrounds racetrack. Giving this latest development, I asked Councilman Swope for his thoughts. Here is his statement: 

Robert Swope
For months I met with dozens of parties that all have a vested interest in the Fairgrounds.  The Speedway, Flea Market, TN State Fair, Christmas Village, Hunters Car Show, and countless others were all given what I believe was a fair chance to speak up about what worked best for their individual interests.  This was done so that moving forward, as many concerns as humanly possible could be incorporated into the final master plan IF a MLS stadium were to be approved.

What become apparent early on in this year long process was that unless the racetrack was protected for the long term, the administration would continue to chip away at eventually removing it from the property altogether.  I began to speak about the racetrack being the elephant in the room.... and in order to protect an elephant, we needed to find a bigger gorilla than the MLS group.

Enter SMI and Bruten and Marcus Smith.  A VERY large Gorilla.

For the past 9 months, a number of us have worked very hard to 1) Protect the racetrack for at least 30 years, 2) Protect the Formosa family racing interests and 3) create a Fairgrounds Nashville that everyone in Middle TN could be proud of for decades to come.

My yes vote on the MLS deal was predicated solely on a trust and a promise that SMI would protect and honor the existing agreements with Formosa , and when such time that SMI and Formosa reached an agreement to work together, the Mayors Office would enter a 30 year agreement with SMI to rebuild/upgrade the track, return NASCAR to Nashville, and work together with all parties at the Fairgrounds for the continued operations of all other existing functions at the facility.

It seems that the first, and largest step in this plan has been agreement between Formosa Promotions and SMI......  and I personally am thankful for the honest integrity shown by all parties to date.  We should all see an agreement between SMI and the City very soon, thereby accomplishing the original goals set out over a year ago.

I believe that with the Speedway rebuilt and protected for the next 30 years, Fairgrounds Nashville will become a crown jewel in our city with all current and future events existing together and complimenting one another.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment