Most of which are simply everyday folks asking why our local government has decided that it's in Nashville's best interest to cease operations of the fairgrounds...after over 100 years? What plans are in store for the property and neighborhood? Where do I stand on it personally? And more importantly, what can be done, at this point to save the Historic Tennessee State Fairgrounds?
I don't think there has been any official future plans put in place for the fairgrounds, yet. If there has been an official plan put it place, our local officials have failed to officially let the public know. Although in the South Nashville Community Plan it does look like the folks who live in the neighborhood, at least those would took part in the neighborhood planning, want the property to become a park.
On page 54 of the plan, the fairgrounds is listed as a special policy area (#1) and it states that:
"Continued use of this unique public space for the annual state fair and a variety of other appropriate, community-oriented activities is intended" it also goes on to say
"Should the auto racing activity cease, the alternate policy applicable to this area is Open Space."
The fairground property is mentioned again, on page 69 where it states:
"The South Nashville Community Plan encourages the thoughtful use and strategic development of the site. See the recommendation for additional greenway connections through the Fairgrounds under Planned and Recommended Greenways and on Figure 19 (on page 68), Open Space Plan."
Current Cost to Taxpayers
For the life of me, can't say why it is actually being closed- it has hundreds of events lined up every year and can't see where it's actually costing taxpayers a dime. Furthermore, it actually draws a couple hundred thousand people every year and that translates to plenty of tourism dollars if you ask me.
Future Cost to Taxpayers
I don't know about you but how much revenue can a park provide? Maybe as taxpayers we all should be asking how many tax dollars it will eat up.
Honestly, unless folks can find a major legal loop-hole and/or garner enough local support to convince local officials that they are making a huge mistake, I don't think anything can or will be done to prevent, delay, or stop the unfortunate destruction of the property.
How can you help?
- Well, the best way to start is by letting everyone know how you feel, send letters and emails to your local government officials and ask your friends to do the same. If you're a local blogger then make sure to blog about it and get your blogger friends and acquaintances to blog about it too. Encourage everyone to speak up and be heard - whether they are for or against saving the fairgrounds.
- Secondly, follow all of the updates and current news on what's happening with the fairgrounds. If you're limited on time, you can follow one of several local blogs (below) that exist solely to help save the fairgrounds.
- Save Our Fairgrounds
- Fairgrounds Heritage Preservation
- Save Nashville Speedway
- Save The Racetrack Fairgrounds
- Thirdly, support the fairground vendors! Visit fairgrounds website and pick a few events every month to attend - then go. The more the merrier, so make sure to take a whole car load with you too.
- Next, as some would put it, "Put your money where your mouth is" and send a few bucks to the Fairgrounds Heritage Preservation Group so you can help directly with their legal costs. If you think this is a worthy cause, you can mail your donations to:
c/o Fairgrounds Heritage Preservation Group
2000 Wedgewood Ave.
Nashville, Tennessee 37212
Well, if you don't already know by now, I think it stinks. This wonderful ole place, one that has given Nashvillians so many great memories, family fun, and plenty of racing history is about to be wiped away in the name of progress.
To me, progress would be to improve on the existing property in a way that would also preserve its historical value as well as incorporate and blend with the local neighborhood.
- As part of a two-year extension agreement, the Nashville council agreed to allow a limited amount of racing at the fairgrounds track until 2012.
- Save My Fairgrounds led a successful petition-drive to add a fairgrounds referendum in the August 2011 ballot.
- Save My Fairgrounds supporter Jamie Hollin releases a video asking for support in Saving the Fairgrounds.
- Saving My Fairgrounds releases voter information & news updates to help supporters save the fairgrounds
- Nashville Voters overwhelmingly approve the fairgrounds referendum in the August elections. Mayor Karl Dean is quoted as saying “I have absolutely no plans for the fairgrounds right now,” he said. “The council said it wants to do long-range planning. We’ll just see what happens.”
Tennessee State Fair
History of the Tennessee Fairgrounds
Metro Nashville Community Plans
Did Elitism Doom Fairgrounds?