Metro’s first-ever fairgrounds subsidy key to facility’s future

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 6:47pm

Faced with thinning reserve funds, Tennessee State Fair Director Buck Dozier is hoping for $245,000 in Metro dollars to sustain operations, an allocation that would represent the city’s first-ever fairgrounds subsidy.

Revenue collected from fairgrounds events –– the annual state fair, auto-racing events and flea markets –– has historically provided the financial backing to run the city-owned fairgrounds. But Dozier told Mayor Karl Dean and his administration Monday that the fairgrounds would need to find a place within Metro’s operating budget to ensure its short-term welfare.

“Our reserves have been dwindling for years, so our estimate is our reserves will come to an end next year,” Dozier said. “The only way to keep it open is to do like other departments do –– the Municipal Auditorium, the Farmers’ Market –– and ask for something that we work hard to draw down to where hopefully we don’t have to have one. But right now, we do.”

Dozier made his request Monday during the first day of the mayor’s annual budget hearings, as Dean prepares to propose a budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Dozier’s plea creates some fascinating dynamics. Dean’s administration fought unsuccessfully more than a year ago to redevelop the 117-acre fairgrounds property. It ended with a rare Metro Council defeat for the mayor, capped off when Davidson County voters in August voted overwhelmingly to support the status quo at the fairgrounds in a public referendum.

Now Dean’s administration will have to weigh whether the fairgrounds –– a facility they’ve roundly criticized in the past –– is worthy of taxpayer dollars.

“The fairgrounds has always lived off its reserve funds and its operations,” Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling said. “This would be the first time that a formal request to the government has been made for a subsidy of the operations.

“We’re going to take a hard look at it,” he said. “It’s been a stand-alone entity for its history, and now that’s changing. We just need to make sure they’ve done everything they need to bring in revenue ... But in tough budget times, it’s hard to suddenly start providing money for another entity.”

One way Dozier and his staff have boosted the flow of revenues at the fairgrounds is by charging visitors to park at all fairgrounds events. Dozier called the parking fee, implemented this year, a “life saver” for the fairgrounds’ financial viability.

On Monday, Dozier also said he expects a long-awaited fairgrounds master plan to be completed by mid April. The master plan –– which is to recommend future use at the fairgrounds –– originated from Metro Council legislation approved members opted against demolishing the fairgrounds speedway in a January 2011 vote.

71 Comments on this post:

By: Ask01 on 3/27/12 at 3:43

Why do I have this uneasy feeling all this has been theater for the benfit of the public while Mayor Dean and the Council gang have been skulking about behind the scenes, plotting to have their way with public property despite the people's wishes?

Don't trust Dean.

By: whitetrash on 3/27/12 at 6:02

Racing Promoter Tony Formosa will bring huge crowds from all of the United States and the World to see racing at the greatest short track in the World the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Every hotel and restaurant in the City of Nashville will be packed for the race weekends! I bought a season pass to the races, did you?

By: Kosh III on 3/27/12 at 6:23

That uneasy feeling is justified. I can see this request for money as a rationale for Dean to argue that the Fairgrounds is a financial drain we can't afford and we have to 1) raise taxes or 2) give it away to his corporate buddies or 3) both.

By: Shane Smiley on 3/27/12 at 6:56

That uneasy feeling is justified. If you look at the history of decisions made by the Fair?board, you will find they tend to go for the lowest bidder. The State Fair contract was awarded to the lowest bidder. a difference of over $200,000.00 per year.
The race track contract followed suit. They again took the lowest bidder by a $19,000.00 difference.
A difference in income for the Fairgrounds of at least $419,000.00 for 2011-2012.

Many who have kept a close eye on the Fairgrounds issue have been forecasting this move for a long time.
Sadly, Our suspicions have come true.

Shame on The Fair?Board. Shame on Buck.

By: whitetrash on 3/27/12 at 7:08

Yeah that's right Shane Smiley and your buddies cost the fair board over $100,000 for not paying their rent for the Fairgrounds Speedway. They also probably cost the fair board money by canceling the All-American 400 and will be costing the tax payers of Davidson County money for having to take them to court to collect the back rent. Buck Dozier and Tony Formosa are the reason FNS is still going not you!

By: racer84 on 3/27/12 at 7:13

Another example of why the financial situation would be much brighter with better decisions by the fair board : The NASCAR events that Bredesen pushed away to Wilson county brought in about $4 Million annually. When those events left for Wilson county the Leaseholder BOB HARMON pocketed $1 Million and his partner VELMA JONES pocketed another $1 Million. The Fair Board pocketed 0.

More events equal more money : In 2007 there were approximately 20 race events, Dean has said no more than 7 race events in 2012. So less events, less money.

It's not Rocket Science......

By: BigPapa on 3/27/12 at 7:13

I told yall... Dean will win this fight. He's got the time and the power on his side.

By: whitetrash on 3/27/12 at 7:27

Racer84 I agree with you. You always seem to have the inside scoop and the REAL facts regarding the fairgrounds. Unlike some people you've been very loyal to Tony Formosa and the NFS. Do you know what is going to happen with Highland Rim or the Nashville Superspeedway in Wilson County?

By: Shane Smiley on 3/27/12 at 7:40

White trash, As usual, you are wrong.
The total not paid on last years contract by Bobby Hamilton Jr. was in the neighborhood of $22,000.00
The money for the 2012 contract would not have been due until Oct, 31, 2012.
Had Buck and the Fair?Board accepted the offer from Chad and Sterling,to take over the contract, that past due balance created by Little Bobby would have been paid. Buck and the Fair?board chose to allow the contract go into breach.

Seeing how The Fair?board has awarded a contract to Tony for the 2012 season, the 2012 money is now the responsibility of Tony.
Keep in mind, The Fair?Board made the decision to take the lowest bid on a promise of payment vs the highest bid paid up front by cashiers check.

Spin it as you will, Whitetrash. You have been spinning thru the entire Fairgrounds fight. Once again, you are spewing fiction and facts are what will once again win the day. But, keep trying, Whitetrash. The more you talk in circles, the less credibility your posts have.

By: Shane Smiley on 3/27/12 at 7:49

Racer84. You are right on the money, Ronnie.

A long history of bad decisions by the Fair?board has put the Fairgrounds in the situation we are in today.
Rich Riebeling is a major factor in this issue as well. When you budget for a loss, you lose.

By: ds on 3/27/12 at 7:50

So the reserve fund is almost gone and tax payer money is needed for a dump to remain a dump and to sit empty most of the time. That doesn't make sense to me. I know there are race fans but it just isn't economically feasible. Tax dollars for a race fan's hobby just isn't fair.

By: Shane Smiley on 3/27/12 at 7:59

With that said ds, is it fair for tax dollars to go to the hobbiests such as , golfers, hikers, sail boaters, baseball, soccer, and a number of other tax payer subsidized hobbies?

Folks, Don't let Whitetrash fool you, the current posts would show long time support for the Fairgrounds and Tony. If you look at past posts from Whitetrash, you will see it simply is not true.
Here are a few examples:

By: whitetrash on 10/6/11 at 12:05
Due us all a favor an nuke the fairgrounds.

By: whitetrash on 10/8/11 at 2:17
There was an estimated crowd of 200 at the last fairgrounds speedway race. What happened Mr. Smily? I thought Mike Curb and the Big Machine Records guy had your back? No one was defeated in the August referendum because there wasn't any organized opposition. Face it the Fairgrounds Speedway is on life support and is fading fast. It might be time for you to jump ship and find another local racetrack to support.

By: whitetrash on 11/1/11 at 4:43
Give the lease to Sterling Marlin. Lets see how deep his pockets really are! Come on Sterling put your money where your mouth is. Has anybody heard Sterling speak you can barely understand the redneck! The only reason I can barely understand him is because I'm whitetrash.

By: whitetrash on 11/1/11 at 4:46
Guess who I went as for Halloween? Okay you give up? I went as Racer84 and know one knew who I was... I was really bummed because I thought everyone knew the truck series Champion at the greatest short track in the world.

By: whitetrash on 2/14/12 at 12:36
They should consider moving to the fairgrounds speedway at the fairgrounds, they would fit right in.

By: whitetrash on 2/14/12 at 1:30
One group is liberals who need to shower the other is rednecks who need to shower so they should fit right in together.

By: whitetrash on 10/24/11 at 1:24
At least Bobby Hamilton put himself and his own money out there. What Hamilton did is much more than the blow hards like Shane Smiley, Ronnie Campbell, and Jamie Hollin just to name a few have done. I think Hamilton will do a much better job next year at the Fairgrounds Speedway. Thanks Little Bobby for your efforts.

Whitetrash is most likely a well connected person from the Mayors office or a PR firm hired to do away with the Fairgrounds.
This person is not a friend of the Fairgrounds and is doing whatever he/she can to divide the ranks of the Fairgrounds supporters. Don't buy in to the propaganda.

By: ds on 3/27/12 at 8:08

Mr. Smiley, is a racetrack at the fairgrounds the highest and best needs for the citizens of Nashville? I don't mind subsidizing tax dollars for hobbiest activities if it is appropriate for the location.

By: BigPapa on 3/27/12 at 8:22

"is a racetrack at the fairgrounds the highest and best needs for the citizens of Nashville?"

As evidenced by the lack of attendance, the answer is NO. Who has a race track in the middle of town? Stop chasing windmills and let this dinosaur die.

By: Left-of-Local on 3/27/12 at 8:24

THERE IS DWINDLING MONEY BECAUSE THE PROPERTY IS A MISERABLE FAILURE. Now the people get to pay even more cash out to prop up FALSE history and a horrid use of land. Great.

SOME of us tried to tell you.

http://www.facebook.com/DontSaveTheFairgrounds

By: Shane Smiley on 3/27/12 at 8:24

ds, according to the voters for the referendum in the last election and over 3,000 people who showed up at the City Council public hearing, the answer is a resounding YES! Keep in mind, the subsidy being asked for is for all operations at the Fairgrounds, not just the racetrack. Operations that would not be in need of subsidizing if the lowest bid was not taken on a regular basis.

With this said, I also believe it is time to clean house at the Fairgrounds.
Obviously, The Fair?board, Buck, and the sales department have done a poor job of managing the assets of the Fairgrounds.
Keep in mind, They have been doing the Mayors will and deteriorating the property and not working for the property to realize its money generating potential. All the more reason for them to be dismissed and put professionals in place that are willing
to allow the property to prosper and grow.

By: Kosh III on 3/27/12 at 8:32

"and to sit empty most of the time. "

LP sits empty most of the time too. Let's sell it to the corporation with the biggest under the table bribe.

Why can't the Sounds play there? Or the proposed soccer team?

You hear folks whine about the need for an open air auditorium for concerts. Why not the Fairgrounds? There used to BE concerts all the time there but then the corporate owners of the city decided that was too low-class or something.....

By: lisaleeds2008 on 3/27/12 at 8:40

Before you start asking for money for the fg please read chapter 515 in the charter. And you can ask the titans for the 8m that they got for coming here. But anyway.

By: ds on 3/27/12 at 8:42

Sir, with all due respect, I feel that is it not the fairboard's fault. The status quo is not the highest and best needs. They shouldn't be blamed for something that isn't profitable.
As for the referendum vote, it was not a resounding yes, it was that the vast majority of Nashvillians don't care that much about it.
The proof is in the pudding, if the fairgrounds is developed, (and it will eventually), then thousands of people will come to a wonderful park everyday and enjoy other human necessities such as groceries and shopping that will be offered. Not to mention thousands of real jobs that people need.
Now since tax payer's money is involved I think the citizens of Nashville may feel a little differently about the fairgrounds.
Hopefully in the future my neighborhood will be safe and nice and I will have the right to pursue happiness in the country I live in. And tax dollars will be spent for the highest and best needs of all citizens.
No disrespect to racing fans, it is just not appropriate for that location anymore.

By: racer84 on 3/27/12 at 8:42

W By: BigPapa on 3/27/12 at 9:22

"is a racetrack at the fairgrounds the highest and best needs for the citizens of Nashville?"

As evidenced by the lack of attendance, the answer is NO. Who has a race track in the middle of town? Stop chasing windmills and let this dinosaur die

WHO HAS A RACETRACK IN THE MIDDLE OF TOWN ????they

Winston Salem and the CITY OWNED Bowman Gray stadium is one example

Bowman Gray averages 25,000 fans from all over the country Every Saturday night. They sell a couple million in billboards and advertising annually. I've been there and could throw a rock from the grandstands and hit any number of houses and the neighbors and city embraces what it has...and that is a key to its success.

By: whitetrash on 3/27/12 at 8:46

I was mad because Bobby got the lease and the fans that came with him weren't the same ones Tony got to come to NFS. I apologize to Ronnie aka Racer84. I thought he was against Tony getting the lease but I was wrong according to what people have told me. I was also mad and upset with the possibility of anyone other than Tony running NFS.

By: ds on 3/27/12 at 8:48

And comparing the fairgrounds to the Titans isn't appropriate because the Titans bring in BILLIONS of dollars to Nashville. I don't even like football but I still get into the Titans games because it is a team sport and Americans love team sports.

By: lisaleeds2008 on 3/27/12 at 9:03

I am sorry that the fg is in this shape hate to tell ya poor management and the fb and dean is the problem.

By: racer84 on 3/27/12 at 9:06

Ds- with that same amount of respect I have to say your,first point proves you haven't done the due dilligence that many of us have to say why or whose fault it is.

30 years of bad decisions that have cost the Fairgrounds about a BILLION DOLLARS in revenues is why most reasonable people without a self serving agenda would admit the fault rests squarely with the Fair Board and the Mayors who appointed them and oversaw the results.

By: Shane Smiley on 3/27/12 at 9:12

ds, The National sports spotlight was first shown on Nashville because of the Racetrack. If the Fair?board had been interested in the property succeeding, and invited Nascar to evaluate the property last year as they were requested to do, the track would likely be hosting a Nascar Camping World truck series race in 2012. That single event weekend would have brought nearly 25 Million dollars in economic impact to our city and enough funds for the Fairgrounds to be sustained tax payer free for a few years to come.

As for the voice of the people, and a resounding YES!! The voters who cared enough to cast a vote for Mayor, Council, and yes, the referendum voted by a large margin in favor of the Fairgrounds. I have listened to a few of your neighbors attempts to dilute the vote for the referendum. By your statement and way of thinking, The majority of nashvillians could care less about who is Mayor or on the council as well. Yet, you do not try to dilute the outcome in those matters as voted on in the 2011 election. By the vote of the people, The highest and best use for the Fairgrounds is as a Fairgrounds.

White trash, You must be dizzy from all of the spin you are attempting.
Mad at Bobby? Didn't you make the following post?

By: whitetrash on 10/24/11 at 1:24
At least Bobby Hamilton put himself and his own money out there. What Hamilton did is much more than the blow hards like Shane Smiley, Ronnie Campbell, and Jamie Hollin just to name a few have done. I think Hamilton will do a much better job next year at the Fairgrounds Speedway. Thanks Little Bobby for your efforts.

By: Shane Smiley on 3/27/12 at 9:19

Racer84
Spot on as usual.

Whitetrash, suddenly you are a friend of the NFS?
If so, please explain this comment.

By: whitetrash on 10/6/11 at 12:05
Due us all a favor an nuke the fairgrounds.

A believer in the Fairgrounds would NEVER post such a comment.

By: racer84 on 3/27/12 at 9:23

Anyone who slams anything Jamie Hollins has done regarding the Fairgrounds is against the Fairgrounds and common sense in government.

Now if you want to slam him for not returning a phone call or something that's another story.

The citizens of Nashville lost more than a great deal when he left the metro council as evidenced by every council vote that has been taken since. Ask any media member in Nashville if what I say is true and you will get a resounding chorus of YES.

Can't spin that.

By: Shane Smiley on 3/27/12 at 9:29

By: whitetrash on 3/27/12 at 9:46
I was mad because Bobby got the lease and the fans that came with him weren't the same ones Tony got to come to NFS. I apologize to Ronnie aka Racer84. I thought he was against Tony getting the lease but I was wrong according to what people have told me. I was also mad and upset with the possibility of anyone other than Tony running NFS.

In the past, you made these posts.

By: whitetrash on 10/24/11 at 1:24
At least Bobby Hamilton put himself and his own money out there. What Hamilton did is much more than the blow hards like Shane Smiley, Ronnie Campbell, and Jamie Hollin just to name a few have done. I think Hamilton will do a much better job next year at the Fairgrounds Speedway. Thanks Little Bobby for your efforts.

By: whitetrash on 11/1/11 at 4:43
Give the lease to Sterling Marlin. Lets see how deep his pockets really are! Come on Sterling put your money where your mouth is. Has anybody heard Sterling speak you can barely understand the redneck! The only reason I can barely understand him is because I'm whitetrash.

Whitetrash, you must be in politics, your view and stance change as fast as the weather.

By: Kosh III on 3/27/12 at 9:40

"And comparing the fairgrounds to the Titans isn't appropriate because the Titans bring in BILLIONS of dollars to Nashville."

Really? Can you please post documentation to prove that assertion. Besides, that does not change my point that LP sits empty all year long except for a few days here and there. Why not use it for other uses(Sounds and soccer) and bring in more "billions." ?

------------
The racetrack should be used for other things besides racing as well and the Fairgrounds do much more than just races.

By: BigPapa on 3/27/12 at 10:01

The titans dont bring in billions, I doubt they even pay for themselves.BUT it's the NFL.. the biggest, best, and most popular sport in the USA. So if you are going to spend money at least spend it on quality, not some small time two bit racing that nobody cares about.

Thats the same issue I have with us spending public money on the Sounds little league baseball. Sorry that was a good idea in 1970 but we're beyond that now. Same with this old race track...

We've got the diamond of all sports in the NFL, the NHL too.. well not too many really care about that, but we have it. Time to move past small track racing and minor league baseball.

By: racer84 on 3/27/12 at 10:40

BigPapa makes my point with glaring clarity.....

The # 2 most popular spectator sport is..........NASCAR RACING !!!!!!!

BUT DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT SHEEPLE.......LOOK IT UP

By: ds on 3/27/12 at 10:40

If car racing was economically viable at the fairgrounds somebody would have invested in such a long time ago. But it is not. Whatever money they put into it they will not get a return on their investment, that's the ugly truth. And car racing can't exist with any other development. So as long as there is a racetrack there then nothing will change. It will be a dump.
Please don't blame the fairboard, it is just not economically viable, that's reality.
You can get mad and give me some bootleg economics, but the reality doesn't change.
And when it is developed it will be nice and the neighborhood will be BOOMING. Yes, that's right booming, nice, great, wonderful, poppin, whatever you want to call it, and people from all over Nashville and TN will come and enjoy!!!!
Sorry, car racing doesn't work there. If it did, then I would support it. And if any other sports entity wasn't making money, (or bringing money into Nashville), then they would be booted out real quick.
But in the meantime, I suggest you all watch college basketball. MARCH MADNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By: racer84 on 3/27/12 at 11:05

Ok ds. Time to call it like it is. You are not as intelligent or informed about this issue to add anything credible to the issue.

no one has invested in the racetrack because with the short term leases mandated by the FAIR BOARD prevent that.

If you think people with the financial means aren't offering to do just that then you need to admit your head is buried in the sand and don't want to know the truth.

I know for a FACT That one of the most successful commercial real estate moguls in Nashville wants a longterm (20 YEAR MIN) Lease to take over the property from gate to gate, remove all metro and Fair Board involvement and will write the city a Million dollar check each January.

In return he would hold the exact same events held there now including racing and would replace every building out there and make it a showplace.

So far every line of bs you've posted has been proven factually wrong and missing common sense. I will fight dumbasses like you to my death. We may just be racing people but you are not better than nor smarter than us

By: las04 on 3/27/12 at 11:27

las04 As usual, "SCUM BAG DEAN" and "LIL RICKY" are up to know good once again. Buck Dozier is being used as a pawn and he's to damn dumb to figure it out. Look people the bottom line is the fairgrounds has stood on it's own for over 100 years and could still be a huge asset to the city if it wasn't being robbed by two of the biggest crooks in town. One could only hope that Karl Dean chokes on one of those hot dogs he eats while he sits in his suite as he watches his beloved Predators. HE AND RICHARD ARE THE BIGGEST DISGRACE TO THE CITY I HAVE EVER WITNESSED...!!

By: lisaleeds2008 on 3/27/12 at 11:46

Well, I guess the fight for the fg is still going on. Remember, people the fg is used by the 99% and it is the 1% that wants condos.

By: BigPapa on 3/27/12 at 11:49

There's no NASCAR racing there and there hasnt been in a long time. I dont see NASCAR coming back to that track.

Also what the racing people are missing is that. There shouldn't be racing there- period. It's in the middle of town around a neighborhood. Who runs the FG is irrelevant to that fact. You dont have racing in the middle of town.

The track should be out far away from town so noise and congestion (assuming enough people show up to actually cause congestion) arent an issue.

By: lisaleeds2008 on 3/27/12 at 12:09

Instead of winning about the track. Channel some of this to how to save and make the fg work. And be part of the city?

By: NewYorker1 on 3/27/12 at 1:30

OMG! What will I wear to the closing of the fairground and the demolition of the race track?

By: racer84 on 3/27/12 at 1:37

DS says 'You can get mad and give me some bootleg economics, but the reality doesn't change.
And when it is developed it will be nice and the neighborhood will be BOOMING. Yes, that's right booming, nice, great, wonderful, poppin, whatever you want to call it, and people from all over Nashville and TN will come and enjoy!!!!"

According to her if you put a Publix, Target and a Starbucks where the Fairgrounds sits today the Cripple will walk and the blind will see ! Without those within walking distance of every Davidson county resident a crime is being commited against those residents.

I'm sorry, But don't residents from all over Davidson county and across the state already visit the Fairgrounds to the tune of over a MILLION people per year ?

That's what the facts show.....

Duh.

By: racer84 on 3/27/12 at 1:38

NewYorker1 - You'll be wearing your sunday go to meeting clothes....cause you'll be rotting 6 foot under when that day comes.

By: birdperch on 3/27/12 at 1:41

The dwindling funds of the Fairgrounds is Not just about racing, though that did generate thousands of dollars. When Buck took over and Dean said the fairground was closing to be given to his buddies for condos and coffee shops, Many scheduled events cancelled or moved to other locations; thus a loss of revenue. Like Conventions/Gun Shows, events are scheduled a year or more in advance. The Flea Market had wonderful, diverse vendors, but many of those opted to go to other cities, so the Market lost some established vendors, thus not as many customers coming to town to shop those high end wares. The announcement of the Fairgrounds closing is the primary reason for the current state of affairs. The second is that Management and the Fair Board were/are short sighted; not using reserves to update the facility in sections (as one does with a home), and not being creative in promoting it as a diverse event destination. Concerts (like Vandy), Dog Shows, etc. Every City needs a thriving Fairground and Nashville had one.....and still can with the right Management touting its viability.

By: BigPapa on 3/27/12 at 2:03

I'm betting on Dean winning this battle.

"You can't fight city hall."

By: lisaleeds2008 on 3/27/12 at 2:18

I really hope that Mayor Dean and his croneys do not think they will get the FGs that way.

I have said time again do not turn your back on Dean. He is a snake.

Mayor Dean wants the money for the FGs.

By: lisaleeds2008 on 3/27/12 at 2:18

I really hope that Mayor Dean and his croneys do not think they will get the FGs that way.

I have said time again do not turn your back on Dean. He is a snake.

Mayor Dean wants the money for the FGs.

By: racer84 on 3/27/12 at 2:33

By: BigPapa on 3/27/12 at 3:03

I'm betting on Dean winning this battle.

"You can't fight city hall."

Notice how the Examples of blindness and refusal to accept the truth from BigPapa and DS are both from the LOSING side and heavily outnumbered in responses ?

Uh, I fought City Hall last year and won, not just once, But twice. With ZERO MONEY against the well financed machine you so love.

Metro Council Meeting in January and Again on Election day to the Tune of 71%.

These are the types of voters that lawmakers drool over. Blind Sheeple.

By: lisaleeds2008 on 3/27/12 at 2:44

Racer84 I was there and yes you can fight city hall and win.

Occupy the FG.

By: Ask01 on 3/27/12 at 5:37

What exactly does Mayor Dean now say he wants done with the property?

At first, if I recall correctly, the issue was to benefit the people living near the fairgrounds inconvenienced by crowds and disturbed by noise. The same residents whom, it must be pointed out, bought their property knowing full well the facility was there.

One scheme I believe called for razing the entire property and opening it up for use as a business/industrial park. One must realize, of course there are numerous similar properties around Nashville sitting vacant.

If the local residents are so agitated by the now and then crowds and noise generated by current activities, they would suffer a stroke with the noise and traffic a bustling manufacturing operation would bring.

A sound plan, that one.

Here's an idea. Let's play on the historical significance, (yes, such really exists) and let the property serve as an open air museum of sorts highlighting the site's role in the early days of organized auto racing with tours and even exhibitions.

The history as regards it's use for fairs could be also represented in a museum setting with a pretty much year round theme park along the lines of a country/state fair midway, including agricultural displays and programs showcasing the agricultural history of the state.

I know, a theme park down town? This is not exactly downtown if we are honest, and has anyone ever been to the original Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm? Those attractions are not exactly in the boondocks.

So, tie the Ryman, Fort Negley, the Sounds stadium with a museum about the history of baseball in Nashville, and the fairgrounds/raceway complex all together, advertise the package at the new Karl Dean Convention Center, and encourage conventioneers to dump their money at these attractions. Shoot, a theme park close to downtown with rides and and amusements to keep families busy might pay for itself quickly.

Just a thought.

I will confess I don't want to see another series of markers which begin, "Near here once stood..." unless we add "because of money grubbing, short sighted, politicians and business concerns with no respect for anyone's history chasing the Almighty Dollar."

That would make me happy.

By: racer84 on 3/27/12 at 6:28

Ask, Would you think more people would visit the Musicians Hall of Fame if it were built on the Fairgrounds Property, or will people ever find out that it's in the basement of the Municipal Auditorium and go there....

Sure would make a nice bonus to the tens of thousands of people who visit the Flea Market each month....as well as the shows they could have had during the State Fair.

Made too much sense I suppose.

By: Ask01 on 3/27/12 at 7:21

racer84, that is an excellent idea and I am somewhat ashamed of myself that I forgot the Musicians Hall of Fame.

To install the Musicians HoF on the grounds of a fairground/raceway museum/exhibit would make perfect sense as my recollections growing up tie all three together handily.

It would be apropo also as the original was demolished for the Karl Dean Convention Center.

By: lisaleeds2008 on 3/27/12 at 8:23

A state with out a state fair not good. I think it IS time for kids to learn AG. The FG has many uses. How about a business adopting a building to help with its upkeep. But don't listen to me.