NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Speedway Motorsports, Inc. owns or operates nine race track facilities around the country, and they have their sights set on the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
In a presentation delivered to the Metro Board of Fair Commissioners meeting Tuesday, representatives of Bristol Motor Speedway delivered a presentation plan with design and execution elements, as well as the financial aspect.
Jerry Caldwell, of Bristol Motor Speedway, said they thought the project could be funded through private dollars, along with bonds paid through future revenue generated by the property.
“We think it could be funded through private dollars as well as dollars generated on the property from events that take place on the fairgrounds," Caldwell said.
NASCAR representatives envision a modern racetrack that can also serve as an entertainment venue.
The proposed enhancements include building grandstands that can accommodate 30,000 fans around turn one, as well as a large sound barriers and video wall on the south and east sides of the track, extensive dining and hospitality facility additions, and a large infield garage structure.
A large part of the design proposal emphasized additional uses the facility could offer, such as hosting carnival or fair attractions in the infield, and as a concert or other special event destination.
“It would be a facility that the community can be proud of and use for numerous other events," Caldwell said.
Caldwell emphasized the opportunity to have two professional sport venues together with the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and the MLS Stadium side-by-side.
NASCAR last held a race in the Nashville area in 2011 when what is now called the NASCAR Xfinity Series ran two races at Nashville Superspeedway in Gladeville.
The track is no longer being used after Dover Motorsports dropped the NASCAR affiliation when it became apparent a NASCAR Sprint Cup series would be moved there. Dover Motorsports has since sold the track to a developer.
Caldwell said the track at the Fairgrounds is a diamond in the rough and needs renovations.
"It was the track, the short track of the country. We believe it could return to that,” said Caldwell.
The renovation project would cost around $60 million.