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NASCAR fans in Twitter tug-of-war with group out to demolish Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway

Syndication: The Tennessean

Supporters of Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway are engaged in a Thanksgiving night tug of war on X (formerly Twitter) with the group that recently released a proposal that would demolish the historic downtown short track in Music City USA.

The group is called Fairgrounds Preservation Partners, operated by a group of local music industry types who seek to transform what is now a 65-year-old motorsports venue into green space with additional housing and a rehearsal area for local artists.

It also features a tiny drag strip for electric car competitions.

The initial public proposal from Fairgrounds Preservation Partners calls the hypothetical space Cumberland Yard, a nod to the original name of the property that in time grew to become the Nashville Fairgrounds.

There is a twitter account to promote the group’s vision and that has been the space of the back-and-forth with motorsports enthusiasts.

(Seven) times and counting as of 11:45 p.m. ET, the account has posted a tweet that reads ‘Happy Thanksgiving from Cumberland Yard’ with a gif that depicts replacing the speedway with the expansion of fair park alongside Geodis Park, the relatively new home of Nashville Soccer Club.

With each post, race fans pile on with messages of opposition and the Cumberland Yard admin(s) block those users, delete the post and repost it. The three most recent post prohibited comments, but that doesn’t stop Quote Retweets, of course.


As for the group itself, the renders were met with general derision from those currently engaged in negotiations with Speedway Motorsports over a proposal that would see the NASCAR track operators acquire a 30-year lease of the facility while also bringing the Cup Series back to the venue.

That plan calls for a $100 million renovation project with $17 million coming from the state, $17 million from the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. and the rest from Metro Sports Authority revenue bonds paid back by diverted sales tax revenue.

Fair Board Chairman Jasper Hendricks said in a statement that expressed ‘disappointment’ in a ‘illegitimate special interest group.’

The deal with speedway motorsports, which has passed Fair Board approval, but still needs to pass city council and new mayor Freddy O’Connell is still nearest to the figurative finish line.

“The Fair Board currently has a comprehensive proposal before the Mayor and the City Council, after undergoing careful considerations and a vetting process by both the Fair Board of Commissioners that included years of public input and the Metropolitan Nashville Sports Authority,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks was one of three Fair Board members who approved the Speedway Motorsports proposal in March with a 3-2 vote. Hendricks has said the Fairgrounds Preservation Partners has shown nothing that would generate revenue for the city or region.

Speedway Motorsports provided Sportsnaut the following statement earlier in the week.

“Bristol Motor Speedway’s plan to preserve the historic Fairgrounds Speedway protects important elements of Nashville’s history, enhances the quality of life for the surrounding neighborhood, and will generate billions of dollars of revenue for local businesses and Nashville,” said Jerry Caldwell, president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “The new counter proposal calls for tearing down the speedway and destroying an iconic venue, which is in direct conflict with its intended public uses and a Metro Charter Amendment which passed by 71 percent in a countywide referendum.”

That is a reference to the 2011 referendum passed by the voters of Davidson County that protects auto racing, the flea market and motorsports at the Fairgrounds.

Geodis Park was built under considerably less scrutiny that the renovation of the speedway has taken but the expansion of that project, alongside Fair Park and the mixed-use commercial, residential buildings next to it has started to creep upon the speedway.

Fairgrounds Preseveration Partners said in their own statement that their vision has support from the local community.

“The Nashville Fairgrounds belongs to all Nashvillians,” said music industry veteran and group chairman Mike Kopp. “The future of this public property should be determined by the local community in partnership with the Metro Fair Board and surrounding neighborhoods – and in a way that acknowledges the Fairgrounds’ complete history while addressing the city’s current needs.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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