Nashville’s Fairground Speedway will see approximately $2.5 million in improvements to its grandstands, but not to its venerable .596-mile paved racetrack.
The track, which is part of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds (also known as The Fairgrounds Nashville), is located just south of the city center.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series last raced there in 1984, while both the Xfinity and Truck series last raced there in 2000 before moving to the 1.333-mile Nashville Superspeedway in nearby Lebanon, Tenn., where the last NASCAR-sanctioned races were held in 2011.
But while the smaller Fairgrounds track will have better grandstand seating for its card of local weekend racing, don’t expect NASCAR to return there anytime soon.
According to The Tennessean newspaper, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announced that the city will invest $15 million into improving and updating the Fairgrounds complex, which has seen some of its property become antiquated or dilapidated.
The three-year improvement program will renovate five exposition buildings, demolish others and create new soccer fields and a dog park, according to The Tennessean.
The grandstands of the racetrack will receive “significant upgrades,” including restroom and entrance improvements, the newspaper said. But the track itself will not receive any upgrades.
That the track will not see any upgrades leaves race promoter Tony Formosa “very disappointed,” he told The Tennessean. Formosa said the overall racing facility needs improvements to fencing, walls, pits and the track speaker system.
“The racetrack has been the roots of the fairgrounds since it began, and the racetrack needs to carry on and it needs improvements,” Formosa told The Tennessean. “It’s in very bad shape.
“There’s a lot of things that could be done that wouldn’t cost a whole lot to do.”
Formosa has a contract to host races at the Fairgrounds through the remainder of 2016.
Construction on the overall project is slated to begin next year.