UPDATE: A Metro councilman told the Metro Fair Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that the city has an obligation to maintain the aging Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville to ensure its future success.
Councilman Robert Swope, a speedway supporter, delivered that message to the five-member board just weeks after Charlotte, N.C.-based Speedway Motorsports Inc. struck a preliminary deal with fairgrounds racetrack operator Tony Formosa for NASCAR's return to the historic short track.
But the return is contingent on Speedway Motorsports striking a separate agreement with the city that would likely need to include upgrades to the city-owned track.
Swope, a first-term councilman from South Nashville and an amateur racer, said it's his understanding that the mayor's office is beginning talks with Speedway Motorsports about a 30-year agreement with the city.
But in a statement, Thomas Mulgrew, a spokesman for Mayor David Briley, said the mayor's office is not in talks with Speedway Motorsports about any deal.
"Our top priorities are getting soccer ready and upgrading the existing fairgrounds structures," he said.
--- Tennessean ---
Original post: 12-19-2018 Formosa Productions Inc. and Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) have today reached an agreement to explore bringing major NASCAR racing events back to Nashville. The joint effort intends to combine local racing and other major motorsports events that once made Fairgrounds Speedway one of the premier raceways in motorsports.
Formosa Productions has a multi-year contract with the Metro Nashville Board of Fair Commissioners to promote and manage the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and operate a limited number of local racing events. BMS and Formosa Productions, who will continue to lead local racing efforts, have signed a contract to work with Metro Nashville and the Board of Fair Commissioners, owner of the historic raceway at the Nashville Fairgrounds, on a long-range plan of significant track improvements and high-profile race events that could include NASCAR events upon the facility meeting standards.
"This is terrific news for fans of racing and drivers all across the country and will bring a brighter future for Nashville Fairgrounds," said Tony Formosa, president of Formosa Productions. "I'm excited to work with Bruton and Marcus Smith and the Bristol team who I feel will bring this historic facility back to where it belongs. Today marks an exciting new beginning for the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville."
Claire Formosa, vice president of Formosa Productions added, "This is exactly what the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville needed. This is one of the most historic short tracks in the country. To know that we now have the chance to bring back NASCAR and restore this facility to what it once was, without losing any of its history is remarkable. I can not wait to see what the future holds for this facility and everyone involved."
Said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, "Tony and our team both see the same bright future for Fairgrounds Speedway. Nashville has a special reputation as one of the most exciting tracks in the history of motorsports, and the region has a remarkably large and passionate fan base. The motorsports industry - the sanctioning bodies, drivers and race teams - is excited about Nashville's potential to be a regular site for major events. With Metro supportive of that vision, we are eager to start working tomorrow with the city, Tony and other stakeholders at the Fairgrounds and beyond, to develop a first-class racing facility and program."
--- Bristol Motor Speedway ---