Sunday, November 05, 2023

Is Metro getting the best deal possible for the Fairground Speedway?

 Wilson County taxpayers weren't on the hook when they built a Superspeedway 20 years ago.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The head of Bristol Motor Speedway plans to bring back a proposal that
would expand and upgrade the racetrack at the Nashville Fairgrounds and bring NASCAR Cup races to Music City.

Under the proposal - Metro would issue bonds to help cover the cost of the project and taxpayers would be responsible if revenue from the racetrack does not cover the cost of the bonds.

... Wilson County issued $26 million in bonds to pay for infrastructure like sewer lines to the remote speedway. However, the county required the developer to protect taxpayers by putting up a letter of credit. ... "It's a big deal to have. It keeps taxpayers free and clear of any debt that they should not be incurring," Hutto said. ... The Nashville Fairgrounds deal that stalled this summer, allows Bristol Motor Speedway to lease the old Fairgrounds racetrack for 30 years and then use bonds to expand and upgrade the facility so it can host NASCAR Cup races. If revenue from the track does not cover those bond payments, taxpayers must make up the shortfall. (Note that there are significant differences between the two deals as explained in the article. Read it all at this link.)

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