Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway renovation, NASCAR closer to reality

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway renovation, NASCAR closer to reality

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway renovation, NASCAR closer to reality

A major step toward bringing NASCAR Cup Series racing back to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway was taken Tuesday when the Metro Fair Board was presented with lease and development agreements between Metro and Bristol Motor Speedway to restore the historic racetrack.

The 118-year-old Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is the second-oldest continuous operating track in the U.S. behind Indianapolis Motor Speedway and predates Nashville’s iconic Ryman Auditorium by one year, but it hasn’t hosted a NASCAR Cup Series race since 1984. There was a time between 1958 and 1984 when the track hosted two NASCAR Cup races each season.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper agreed in principle last December with Bristol Motor Speedway to overhaul Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

A rendering shows the historic Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway after renovations proposed by Bristol Motor Speedway.

Bristol Motor Speedway president and general manager Jerry Caldwell presented the proposal Tuesday. Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., attended the meeting to support the proposal.  

The proposed renovation, pending approval by the Fair Board, Metro Sports Authority and Metro Council, would enter Bristol Motor Speedway into a long-term contract to lease, manage and maintain Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

The proposal would fund track renovations and ongoing maintenance, according to BMS officials, and would not require any investment from the city’s budget or obligation debt.

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