Music recording executive Mike Curb, an auto racing enthusiast and major financial donor to Belmont University and other institutes, hopes Metro and Mayor Karl Dean can find a way to keep the fairgrounds’ racetrack.
A press release sent Thursday by Save My Fairgrounds Inc. highlights a handful of racing legends and local education benefactors who support the preservation of the Nashville Speedway. The release includes usual names like Sterling Marlin and Darrell Waltrip, who have both been outspoken on their desire to save what they believe is an historic racetrack.
More interestingly, the announcement includes music entertainment giants Curb, owner of Curb Records, and Scott Borchetta, founder of Big Machine Records. Both are known for their charitable contributions to education. Curb has owned and sponsored cars driven by Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty and others, according to the release.
“Scott Borchetta, head of the very successful Big Machine Records, and I met with Mayor Karl Dean regarding his education initiative, which Scott and I both agreed to strongly support,” Curb said in a written statement.
“At the end of the meeting, Scott and I spoke briefly to the Mayor about the fact the fairgrounds track is over 100 years old and the fact that it hosted some of the earliest historic auto races in the nation,” he continued. “Auto racing is a very popular sport in Nashville. It would be wonderful to keep the historic race track in Nashville and turn it into something that helps the local economy showing proper consideration to the neighborhood.”
Curb made news earlier this week when he penned a letter expressing his desire that Belmont re-hire Lisa Howe, the university’s former women’s soccer coach, who was let go from her position after she told players she was having a child with her same-sex partner.
Taking a time out from immediate plans to redevelop the 117-acre fairgrounds, Dean halted plans last week to relocate the property’s expo center to a new facility at Hickory Hollow Mall in Antioch.
But five council members sponsored a bill that, if approved, would allow the demolition of the fairgrounds’ racetrack to make way for a new 40-acre park. The ordinance, set for first reading on Dec. 21, would keep the expo center and Tennessee State Fair at the Nolensville Pike property for another year.