NASCAR to Nashville: Is it worth it?
Since late February, Speedway Motors has met with Nashville Mayor David Briley on multiple occasions in hopes to bring NASCAR back to Nashville.
After many proposals being made by Speedway Motors and all being denied, Briley states they need to “bring a real proposal to the table.”
Proposal after proposal
Over the past few months, outrageous proposals have been made such as using $54 million in public taxpayers money, and 2$ million in cash from the city. Of course, Mayor Briley continues to deny proposals that involve using taxpayers money.
This is where we have to ask, is it really worth it? The public and the fair board have no knowledge of the talks between Briley and Speedway Motors. What is known is that the Mayor continues to deny each proposal given to him.
“It just keeps going on and on,” said fair board member Jason Bergeron at this months meeting on Tuesday. “We have no concrete proposal and no real engagement with the community.”
Both sides here are becoming more frustrated as proposals keep being made and getting denied. Now, the fair board wants to be included in these private talks as well.
Speedway Motors has been nothing less than persistent in trying to being NASCAR back to the Fairgrounds Speedway. The team has been requesting $56 million, but it hasn’t been released to the public how much these upgrades will cost and what they’ll be.
“Mayor Briley is happy to entertain a common-sense proposal to revitalize the iconic track at the fairgrounds,” says Thomas Mulgrew, Mayor Briley’s spokesperson. “To date, Speedway Motorsports has not presented an option that was either practical … or financially feasible.”
So with that being said, who’s supposed to pay for all these expenses? Councilman Colby Sledge weighs in on the issue.
“They (Speedway Motors) should be doing it pithing their own budget,” Sledge said. “There should be no money from the city going into this plan. Or if there’s some sort of improvement the city is a partner in, it should be extremely low exposure from the city.”
The public’s opinion
As you might assume, the public isn’t very fond of the speedway’s proposal either. Taxpayers aren’t very happy with that they’re suggesting, and they’d rather have their money be spent elsewhere instead of on the racetrack.
People who live near the track are fighting against bringing NASCAR there as well. “This area deserves the respect and consideration that other neighborhoods are getting across Nashville.” says a long time resident of the area, Heidi Basgall Favorite.
Favorite and other residents living there know just how loud it can get on race nights. It will be dreadful bringing NASCAR to the area.
“You can’t have a conversation on the patio, on a race night you can’t go to bed early, you can’t put your kids to bed early.” She says.
So, is bringing NASCAR back to Nashville really worth it? It’s horribly expensive and it would be a nuisance to all those living in the area. In the end, it may be best to leave things as they are.