NASHVILLE (WSMV) - The Tennessee State Fair Association is filing a lawsuit along with U.S. Representative John Rose to halt construction of an MLS stadium at the Nashville fairgrounds.

According to a news release, an injunction stopping work will be filed Friday, January 18 in Davidson County Chancery court.

Fair board gives tentative approval to lease its land for MLS stadium

Artist's rendering of the proposed MLS stadium in Nashville. (Source: MLS2Nashville)

Congressman Rose said the lawsuit was "a matter of last resort."

"The fair will likely be eliminated because the space and structures designated for the state fair will not adequately accomodate the needs of the more than 160-year-old tradition," said Congressman Rose in a statement.

Among the issues raised were Metro's plans for the fairgrounds could not "serve the State Fair's need for agricultural and farm animal exhibitions; a lack of space for parking; and designation of a flood plain area as the location of the Fair's rides and midway."

"I am certain that North American Midway Entertainment will not be willing to set-up its million dollar rides and carnival in an area designated as a flood plain," Rose said, adding that "this issue alone can cause the demise of the State Fair."

Rose is a chairman of the all-volunteer board that governs the Tennessee State Fair Association. Rose was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives representing Tennessee's sixth congressional district back in November.

Tennessee State Fair Manager Scott Jones also agreed with Rose's concerns, stating the area set aside for the fair "is not a good idea because of the potential for damage from flooding."

Additional concerns brought forth were elimination of grandstand seating for shows, and that the midway would need a minimum of five acres of level ground that did not include space for free attractions, music stages, games, ground entertainment, food vendors, sponsors, or commercial exhibits.

The Tennessee State Fair Association is a nonprofit organization responsible for producing the Tennessee State fair each year. Rose contends that if the city does not change it's plans, the fair will be cancelled.

"If changes to the plans now underway for the Fairgrounds are not made immediately, there will not be a State Fair this year," Rose said.

The city of Nashville has hosted the state fair since a private act was passed by state legislature in 1923. A Metro government charter maintains that all activities held at the Fairgrounds since December 31, 2010, including the Tennessee State Fair, should continue on the same site.

The lawsuit being filed Friday to halt construction is being pushed forward on the basis of the Metro charter. 

"Our board has been patient. We have made every effort possible to resolve our issues concerning the Fairgrounds with Metro government and at times have thought progress was being made, but in reality, our concerns have not been addressed and the production of the 2019 State Fair is in serious jeopardy," said Rose.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

WSMV Digital Content Producer

Joey is an award-winning Digital Content Producer on the WSMV Digital Team! A graduate of the University of South Carolina-Aiken, Joey joined WSMV in September 2018. He's happy to be Working 4 You!


Lauren Lowrey joined News4 as an anchor in December 2018.

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