Deal pending for NASCAR’s return to historic Nashville venue

Feb 28, 2021; Homestead, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell (20) races during the Dixie Vodka 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR could be rekindling a historic partnership with Nashville very soon.

The return to top-level racing at the famed Fairgrounds Speedway, which has not hosted elite NASCAR events in decades, moved closer to reality Friday when Speedway Motorsports signed a letter of intent on a long-term deal to lease, manage and repair the track in order to host NASCAR once again.

After months of discussions and negotiations, Nashville Mayor John Cooper signed the letter of intent to have the city-owned venue managed and renovated by Bristol Motor Speedway, which is owned by Speedway Motorsports. The deal is pending the approval by the Board of Fair Commissioners and Metropolitan Council.

“The goal of the partnership is to bring our historic racetrack back to life as a valuable and exciting part of the fairgrounds,” said Cooper of his goal of reinvigorating a 0.596-mile track that launched in 1904.

Per the proposed deal, the city of Nashville would issue a maximum of $50 million in bonds toward renovations, with the remainder of the costs covered over time through the lease arrangement, taxes and revenues from the venue and spectator fees.

The esteemed track hosted at least one Cup race per year for nearly three decades from 1958-84, with the Xfinity Series holding events in multiple years (1984, 1988-89, 1995-2000).

–Field Level Media