It’s a longshot but there remains a possibility that NASCAR racing could someday return to Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
After failing to win the lease for the city-owned track in 2017, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. remains interested in bringing a national touring event back to the historic downtown track that has hosted motorsports in some capacity since the early 1900s.
Since losing the open bid to longtime track operator Tony Formosa, SMI president and CEO Marcus Smith has twice met with the Formosas in Nashville to discuss working together to bring big-time stock car racing back to the Music City. The first meeting occurred in December and the second took place last week following the Cup Series event at nearby Bristol Motor Speedway.
There are several obstacles to overcome for this to even become a reality.
For one, the track needs at least $20 million minimum in renovations and improvements to meet current NASCAR standards. It would need more for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The 0.596-mile track hasn’t hosted Cup since 1984 and hasn’t hosted Xfinity and Trucks since the 2000 season.
Another complicating factor is that the Fairgrounds is currently embroiled in a fierce debate over where to build the Major League Soccer stadium the city was recently awarded. There are some who want to maintain the status quo of the state fair, flea markets and motorsport events.
Others want to see the area redeveloped into a sporting complex with housing, retail and a hotel on 10 acres next to the stadium. Part of the speedway’s back parking lot is already being redeveloped into a family park.
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