Feb 27, 2024 - Politics

Mayor O'Connell discusses fairgrounds proposal

Photo illustration of Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell said last week he's keeping tabs on a proposal to amend the city charter related to required programming at the fairgrounds.

  • Two Nashville residents want to change the charter by swapping out auto racing in favor of affordable housing.

What he's saying: "If this were to make it to the ballot, I'd have to think about it myself in terms of how I'd vote," O'Connell said at his media availability last week. "I grew up in a Nashville with the speedway and appreciate the speedway."

  • "I know there's a lot of strength of feeling in the world about it. I think we have to see, one, will there be enough signatures to get this on a ballot? And then [two], how voters respond to that."

Catch up quick: At its meeting last week, the charter revision commission found technical issues with the proposal that must be addressed for the measure to go on the ballot.

  • If those issues are fixed, supporters could then begin gathering the signatures needed to put the proposal on the November ballot.
  • Racing supporters want the track revitalized to allow NASCAR to return. Opponents have pitched an alternate vision for the property with affordable housing, space for making music and an electric car racetrack.
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