Sunday, Feb 05

Save Nashville Fairground Speedway Effort Underway

Monday, Dec 20 4771

Nashville, TENN. - The latest group to fight for preservation of some corner of the highly controversial State Fairground property feels a personal attachment to the Fairgrounds Speedway: the stock car racetrack said to date back to the early 1900s.

"I just remember that (original raceway symbol)," said Tony Formosa, lamenting about the prospect of losing the historical sports symbol, and Nashville landmark, to a wrecking ball. "And I just remember that:  the cushions that you rented and sat on, had this logo. I been born and raised at this facility!"

Formosa, serving as the track's promoter this year, managed to schedule five race events this calendar year, and is now helping lead the charge to save the life of the track.

On a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon, Formosa, ducking for cover, appropriately, inside his 34-foot racecar hauling trailer - helped anchor an emergency petitioning process in District 17, the South Nashville district that contains all 117 acres of the hotly debated property.

Metro council member Sandra Moore, whose district this is, on December 21, is set to introduce a bill that would call for immediate demolition of the racetrack, specifically. Moore did not return phone calls or Emails to NewsChannel 5 on Saturday.

"Her heart's probably in the right spot, but this is really the first we've ever heard from her, in terms of noise complaints and things like that," said Darden Copeland, spokesperson for the group Save My Fairgrounds. "Now that the mayor wants to re-develop the property, she is very much in favor of the mayor's plan."

Copeland told NewsChannel 5 it was the group's goal to collect signatures from 1,860 of the roughly 9,229 voters who live in District 17. And volunteers going door-to-door were not only talking, Copeland said, but also listening to neighbors' complaints and concerns who are on the fence over the racetrack issue, or full-on eager to see it go.

The citizen group SNAP, or South Nashville Action Partners, is dead set against preserving the racetrack on any level. As the pro group circulated petitions and signs Saturday, SNAP members were said to be circulating their own yard signs, speaking out in favor of the track's demolition.

Both sides will likely be following the developments of council woman Moore's yet to be publicized plan to move forward with giving the fairgrounds' racetrack its checkered flag. A first reading before Metro full council is slated for December 21. A public hearing, where no vote will be taken, is set for Monday, January 10.


Credit: Brent Frazier - newschannel5.com

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