Farewell to the fair?

Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 8:00pm
Fairgrounds.jpg

Ten months from now, the first Tennessee State Fair at its new location is set to begin. Where the 104-year-old event will call home is still unclear, but it probably won’t be in Davidson County.

With Mayor Karl Dean taking Metro out of the state fair business as he moves forward with plans to redevelop the 117-acre property off Nolensville Pike, a group of state tourism, agriculture and political leaders have launched the nonprofit Tennessee State Fair Association to oversee a revamped state fair. The first task of the group’s 15-member board is to find a new location for the fair, ideally in Davidson County. But association leaders say that’s been problematic.

“As we look at 2011, and even 2012, it’s really difficult to find a site [in Davidson County] that can accommodate the traditional activities of the Tennessee State Fair,” said John Rose, who chairs the group. “Among those activities that are hard to locate, probably the most difficult would be animal and agricultural exhibits. You can’t just go to a parking lot or a mall or a green field somewhere and have those types of events.

“Frankly, there really aren’t any facilities in Davidson County, aside from the current state fairgrounds facilities, that would make that very possible,” he said. “All of that said, I think for 2011, there’s a real conundrum of how we have a fair.”

That the state fair isn’t going away but rather switching hands has been a central point of Dean’s as he makes arguably the toughest political sales pitch of his three years in office. He has faced unprecedented public criticism, as well as attempts at insurgency by Metro Council members, especially in the past few months.

Dean frequently cites Minnesota-based Markin Consulting, which in 2007 conducted a “highest and best use” study of the fairgrounds and found that the current facility is “too hilly” and essentially insufficient to hold a top-notch fair.

But testifying earlier this month before the Metro Council’s Codes, Fair and Farmers’ Market Committee, Rose delivered some grim news on the status of the search. In a subsequent interview with The City Paper, Rose talked candidly about his group’s obstacles and indicated time is of the essence. Realistically, he said, a new site must be secured within the next “30 to 60 days” for a 2011 Tennessee State Fair to take place.

“All of the folks we’ve talked to around the country who are involved in producing state fairs have said the last thing we want to do is miss a year, because if you let it lapse a year then you might as well just start all over,” Rose said. “That raises the likelihood that we have to look outside of Davidson County.”

Loosely looking

The state fair association is trying to eventually secure some sort of public-private deal to either lease or purchase a new home, Rose said. So far, financial resources have come via a grant from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and from board members themselves. As of last week, Rose estimates the group has an available balance of less than $100,000 to pull off a project that would exceed that figure considerably.

“We’re talking about tens of millions of dollars of facilities that are getting ready to be destroyed,” Rose said, referring to the Metro-owned fairgrounds. “That’s one of the things that has been lost in this debate. The purpose of our group is to try to figure out how do we replicate what already exists, recognizing that we’ll certainly be looking to try and build a better site going forward. … It won’t be inexpensive.”

The group has informally looked at a handful of locations in Davidson County. They include long-term possibilities such as the former Clover Bottom Developmental Center off Lebanon Pike and Metro-owned land on County Hospital Road, as well as temporary options such as the Ellington Agricultural Center and Moss-Wright Park in Goodlettsville.

“We really haven’t looked at any sites in what I would say is a really serious fashion,” Rose said. “There have been lots of sites discussed, and there’s kind of been a superficial assessment of sites.”

The site inside Davidson County best suited to hold a state fair is its historic location, Rose said, adding that the Metro-owned fairgrounds animal/agriculture facilities are “among the best in the state.” Keeping the fairgrounds operating one more year isn’t on Dean’s radar, however.

“[Mayor Dean] supports the state fair and thought it would be great if it could be in Davidson County, but history, topography and the Markin report show clearly that the current site does not work as a fairgrounds,” Janel Lacy, Dean’s spokeswoman, said.

It appears increasingly likely next year’s state fair will be held in one of Davidson’s surrounding counties. Rose said a few possibilities are the Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Park; the site of the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon; Middle Tennessee State University’s agricultural facilities; Nashville Superspeedway in Mt. Juliet; and farmland in Manchester where the popular music festival Bonnaroo is held. Rose said his group could decide to split the midway and agricultural-based events between two different locations.

To become financially viable, Rose said the new Tennessee State Fair location would likely need to hold flea market and similar events over the course of the year. Dean is currently pushing legislation through the council that would turn parts of Hickory Hollow Mall into the city’s new expo center. Presumably, a
new state fair expo center could compete with Metro’s expo center.

“Are we going to want to have activities like those that could be held elsewhere?” Rose said, referring to the planned expo center at Hickory Hollow Mall. “I think the answer to that is obviously yes, because the whole reason you have those activities is because you don’t want a multi-million-dollar facility [sitting] idle.”

Group frustrated

In a 30-minute conversation with The City Paper, Rose seemed frustrated that his group has had to take a unilateral approach in its search.

“We haven’t,” Rose said when asked if his group has received the type of support it would like from the mayor’s office. “I say that with a little bit of hesitation. They haven’t told us to go away and never come back. They have been cordial, but I think you can draw from what you see publicly. Their interest in the Tennessee State Fair is nil at the present.”

Lacy said Dean is leaving it up to the group.

“Mayor Dean met with representatives from the Tennessee State Fair Association in October and told the group at that time he thought they were doing exactly what needed to be done to transform the fair into a true state fair as recommended by the Markin report,” she said.

Councilwoman Emily Evans, who has criticized Dean’s handling of the fairgrounds issue, said the state fair should logically be held in Nashville given its status as Tennessee’s capital city. She would be disappointed if that doesn’t materialize.

“It seems like more energy has gone into ending the fair and talking about what will happen at the fairgrounds than has gone into developing a proper transition plan for the functions that currently occupy the fairgrounds, like the Tennessee State Fair,” Evans said of the mayor’s approach. “I think that’s becoming more and more evident.”

But At-large Councilman Charlie Tygard, who penned a column in The Tennessean calling for Dean to take a “time out” from his current plans to consider constructing a built-from-scratch expo center, suggested losing the state fair to Williamson or Wilson counties wouldn’t be so terrible.

“Based on the public sentiment and what we’re hearing, the expo market seems to be far and away the hot button for the majority of citizens,” Tygard said. “And then there’s a certain amount of interest in the racetrack. And then way behind is an, ‘Oh by the way, the fair has nice memories for us’ type of thing.” 

55 Comments on this post:

By: wwrcd on 11/29/10 at 12:15

Mr. Rose, you have known that the fair at the current location would be ending for several years now. I hope that something can be worked out but it is not the City's job or more importantly the tax payers job to be the sole financial backer to host a state fair. Good luck to you and your group. Unless you and the other members of your non-profit make a good faith effort in finding land to have future fairs, I don't want the City to bail you out. I would want to see a site in Davidson County for future fairs in place before I gave you another year at the current location.

By: bfra on 11/29/10 at 4:08

wwrcd writes like our own pudgy little mayor, himself. The one elected to represent the people, but instead has pushed his own self- interest projects, instead.

By: MAmom on 11/29/10 at 7:59

In the story above it says: "Dean frequently cites Minnesota-based Markin Consulting, which in 2007 conducted a “highest and best use” study of the fairgrounds and found that the current facility is “too hilly” and essentially insufficient to hold a top-notch fair."

A summary of the Markin study can be found here:
http://fairgroundsheritage.org/pdf/markin_11_19_08_memo.pdf

THAT WAS NOT THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE STUDY. The Markin Study summary lists two Options for the Fair (Fairgrounds):
Option 1-to continue to operate the annual State Fair as a county/regional fair and the current site is adequate and appropriate...though changes to both operations and facilities are recommended...
Option 2-To re-invent the State Fair. Make it bigger - but that would require a move to another bigger site.

ONLY IF OPTION 2 IS SELECTED - the State Fair is made bigger and better does the Markin study recommend : "Should the Fair be relocated, the highest and best use of the current Fairground site would be as a mixed use/commercial development".

Dean is "cherry-picking" parts of the study which - out of context - support his "redevelopment" plans.

By: Ingleweird on 11/29/10 at 8:19

@bfra-
Yeah, the Mayor likes to push his agenda by posting to City Paper articles after midnight, a few hours before the work week begins. I read a lot of bitter postings about Karl Dean, and how the new convention center is HIS baby (not true, 10 years + in the making) and how he doesn't really represent the voters (the majority of whom elected him into his position). Sour grapes/gripes, people. Granted, the political gamble of closing the fairgrounds site would have been a better issue to tackle in his second term, but the ball is already rolling and hindsight is always 20/20. The mayor has a responsibility to present a balanced budget; the fair grounds are losing money i.e. they are getting "bailed-out" by the city. The options appear to be 1) improve the infrastructure for a venture that is LOSING money, or 2) think outside the BOX that is the existing fairgrounds site. Notice how it is called the TN State Fair, but Davidson Co. presumably foots the bill (how about the Davidson County Fair)? I say, let the state fund it! Interesting to note that CM Tygard thinks voters are more concerned with "hot button" voter issues, instead of real practical issues such as jobs (which a corporate-friendly site will create) and the economy. I am willing to wager the house that you (bfra) didn't even vote for Dean; therefore I doubt you and the anti-Deaner weeners are in a position to threaten his job.

BTW, Mayor Dean is not pudgy, at least by TN standards.

By: bfra on 11/29/10 at 8:33

Ingleweird - By well built male standards, Karl is pudgy! The Fairgrounds are losing money because of the inept fair board, hand picked by Karl and his instructions to "lose money". No, I didn't vote for Karl, thank goodness! Why don't you ask Karl to lay out for the public, the real reason for closing the Fairgrounds? Don't hold your breath.

By: Community-carl-... on 11/29/10 at 8:38

Dean and his self-serving cronies are in the process of stealing the Fairgrounds from the citizens of Davidson County.

Furthermore, his so-called support of theState Fair, like his support of the Metro Community & Adult Education program, is "lip service" only......his lack of active support will allow the State Fair to dwindle and fade away, just like the Metro Community & Adult Education program. (another example of his hypocracy.)

In my opinion, he is a manipulative, deceitful politician who is saying what the people want to hear, but whose actions obviously say otherwise. I am totally disgusted with him and his administration. Mark my words: in a few years, and after he has moved on, we ciitizens of Nashville/Davidson County will suffer the consequences of the damage he and his administration has wrought upon us, our finances, traditions, and way of life.

It is a shame that so many of our elected officials refuse to honor the will of the citizens, and seem to only listen to the mayor.........I think our next election is going to be very interesting..........

By: Ingleweird on 11/29/10 at 8:42

@bfra:
If you have evidence that Dean instructed the fair board to "lose money," I demand that you provide it! Don't worry; as you instructed, I will continue breathing in the normal fashion. :P

By: Community-carl-... on 11/29/10 at 8:46

Hey "bfra,

Dean and his administration have set the fairgrounds up for failure......and are doing all they can to make the fairgrounds situation appear much worse than it really is. And if "bailing out" the fairgrounds with a few thousand dollars is an issue for you, how do you feel about 1.8 million dollars a year of tax payers' money to support his hickory Hollow Mall project?

I rest my case.

By: bfra on 11/29/10 at 8:48

Ingleweird - That info has been posted here, many times. Go to PDF Fairboard and read it for yourself.

By: bfra on 11/29/10 at 8:51

Community-carl - No, there is noway it makes sense to sink millions into a private owned property, rather than improve what is already owned for much less money. Unless, the kickbacks for politicians are much greater. Think Taxpayers!

By: Community-carl-... on 11/29/10 at 8:56

Thank you, bfra.

You are absolutely right......Dean is trying to sell us Nashville citizens out.

By: bfra on 11/29/10 at 9:05

There is a song "In it for the Money", what that Karl's theme song for his campaign?

By: bfra on 11/29/10 at 9:06

s/h/b was that

By: Inglewoodlife on 11/29/10 at 9:19

Ingleweird, you want proof please read this. Now when I say read it I do not mean read part of read it all and then come back and respond.

http://fairgroundsheritage.org/pdf/What_Do_You_See.pdf

By: Ingleweird on 11/29/10 at 9:29

@bfra:
Is PDF Fairboard a website? Please humor me and provide me with a link to the aforementioned evidence of the instruction to lose money. I see nothing to support your assertion when I search "fairboard" or "lose money" on this website.

By: Inglewoodlife on 11/29/10 at 9:45

I just did.

By: Inglewoodlife on 11/29/10 at 9:51

Please attend a community forum regarding the future of our fairgrounds. Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 at 6:30pm at Joelton Church of Christ, 3541 Old Clarksville Pike, Joelton, TN 37080

By: Inglewoodlife on 11/29/10 at 9:56

Here Ingleweird this is your Councilman's take on this.

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/farewell-fair#comment-283895

By: karlwithak on 11/29/10 at 10:00

I challenge anyone to show where the Fairgrounds has cost this city one cent in taxpayer funds in the last 104 years.
Yes, the mayor and richie riebeling insuate that but never provide any legal documents to back that statement up because none exist. riebeling has cost our city well over 100 million dollars with his ego and smarter than thou attitude against the fairgrounds and the people who love and use it.
I AM an idiot, and I have never cost anyone anywhere near even a million dollars,so what's an idiot times 1000 ?
karl dean and rich reibeling telling people they know whats best for the masses.

By: Inglewoodlife on 11/29/10 at 10:18

Sorry this is Jamie's take on the fairgrounds.

http://jamiehollin.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/flea-market-activities-at-hickory-hollow-mall/

By: gohomenow on 11/29/10 at 10:19

Karl Ding, much like all northerners who have migrated here (unfortunately) thinks that he is so much smarter than us "rednecks". If you are all that smart, why didn't you take some pride in your homeplace and stay there and fix it ? No pride to be had I suppose.
GO HOME NOW !

By: karlwithak on 11/29/10 at 10:41

Reposting :

Originally Dean's plan was to "redevelop" the Fairgrounds. When there was push back ... he started throwing out "bribes" to get more people on board with his plan. These were not part of his original plan ... they kind of morphed as the discussion moved forward.

The following promises have been made - but all are contingent on "redevelopment" of the Fairgrounds (plus a multimillion lease debt): (1) a park in a flood plain for the Fairgrounds neighborhood (could have been done anyway), (2) cleaning up a portion of a polluted stream (should have been done anyway), (3) giving a Community Center to HH residents (should have been done anyway), (4) make HHM viable again by bailing out CBL (even though there is a high likelihood that the flea market, etc. will fail at HHM).

Other examples of less-than-honest behavior by Dean and his cronies which make "redevelopment" suspect:
1. Dean's projected revenue & job numbers are all unsubstantiated - underlying assumptions have not been revealed - so the veracity of the numbers cannot be evaluated.
2. Dean promises thousands of jobs from "redevelopment" - implies that these jobs will go to local people. Realistically, a big Corporate employer will not be a new company - and when they move there the good jobs will go to their existing employees - not to unemployed local people.
3. Under Weavers stewardship the Fair Board has been running up expenses and chasing away revenue - to make the financials perform poorly - to "justify" redevelopment plans (even though provisions of the original Fairgrounds legal documents made provision for difficult financial times).
4. Deans representatives have said the HHM site is is acceptable (to them) for flea market/expo events. Despite these facts:
- there are not enough doors to enable vendors to set-up and break-down in a timely manner,
- HHM has less square footage than the Fairgrounds,
- there are insufficient people/stuff movers (i.e.: elevators/escalators),
- car and boat shows have said the structure will not support the weight of their vehicles,
- animal events will not work there,
- there are fire code limitations on how many people can be in the building,
- there are parking restrictions at different times of the year,
- traffic around Bell Road is terrible, etc.
- and the public doesn't want to go to a failed mall. if they did, they'd be shopping at a mall.... instead of at a flea market.
5. Dean said that vendors want to go to HHM. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Vendors are one of the groups fighting the "redevelopment" plans. Overwhelmingly vendors do NOT want to go to HHM. Many plan to boycot HH because their customers have told them they will not attend flea markets at HHM.
6. Per K Dean the fairgrounds are empty 6 days a week. Again, wrong.
7. Conflict of interests. Two of Dean's biggest "redevelopment" champions - Riebeling & Weaver - have conflicts of interest. Weaver represented CBL for years - and now CBL stands to benefit from a multi-million dollar lease of HHM to Metro. Riebeling, a stubborn man who wanted to "redevelop" 10 years ago & never let go of the idea - prepares the financials for the Fairground. And the financials look funny: disappearing investments, fund transfers, charging the fairgrounds for expenses related to fairground "closure", strangely high "Personal" expenses, etc.
8. Now Dean's cronies are claiming opposition to their plans is not genuine. Opposition to Dean's plans is absolutely genuine. Thousands who use the Fairgrounds - racing fans, Fairground vendors, expo users, and the general public who use the Fairgrounds - have signed petitions to save the Fairgrounds, written letters to local papers, blogged on the internet, emailed, attended meetings, etc. Plus there are many others opposed to Dean's plans - who have not had a chance to sign a petition yet.
9. Most of Dean's supporters are those who stand to benefit in some way from "stealing" the Fairgrounds from the rest of us.

The Fairgrounds was given to the people of Nashville and Middle Tennessee a long time ago. It belongs to us. Karl Dean lacks the moral authority to take it away from us.

Besides, there is a lot of vacant commercial property around town - some of it not too far from downtown. Why not develop these properties?

By: Ingleweird on 11/29/10 at 11:24

@Inglewoodlife:
My previous post was entered without refreshing prior to the post (otherwise I might have noticed your posts).

Thank you for your most helpful links. An illuminating read; it has shed some light on an otherwise cloudy issue. I still think Dean is a good mayor; however, this issue may require a great deal of transparency (or ultimately, a lawsuit) to settle it. Thanks again!

@gohomenow:
This is a free country. If people have the drive, the money, or the necessity of moving elsewhere, they will do so, and they will do so regardless of your blessing. You don't have a "Real" or tangible claim to this land, nor do you possess a monopoly on being a southerner, a Nashvillian, or a Tennessean. If Dean believes he is smarter than "us rednecks," perhaps he believes his merits will all the more stand out. Take your provincial attitude and keep it off the net; you'll find you haven't many supporters here.

By: judyboodo@yahoo.com on 11/29/10 at 12:06

Well here's one supporter. This whole attempt at cramming down the throat of the taxpayers a bad idea and deal, STINKS. How can anybody that has paid attention to all that has been said and done in response to this boondoggle still think that it's a good idea. Just pick a facet of the argument and try to make sense of anything in favor of this attempt. Nothing works unless you accept on faith what is promised. I stopped taking anything that politicians say on faith in 1969. Or maybe you would just like to close your eyes and hope the developers and lobbyist will change their M.O. just for this time. Like to buy some beach front property? Dean is going to spend this city into oblivion if he already hasn't with MCC. At some point we the taxpayers have to say "no mas".

By: orangey on 11/29/10 at 12:40

I have to wonder how many people tearing their hair out over the state fair have been to the fair in the last 10 years. The "TN state fair" is little more than a small town carnival. It is a joke! Go to Wilson or Williamson county to get a taste of what a fair should look like. Or drive up I-65 to KY state fair, which by the way is not held in the state's capital city, to see a real state fair. All this whining is really tiresome. Bring on the bulldozers and get this over with.

By: bfra on 11/29/10 at 12:42

judy - Seems most that speak for Karl's plans, haven't attempted to look up or read anything about the underhanded deals he is trying to pull. They just sit on their fist and chime in, from time to time. HH is the dumbest move anyone could possibly come up with, unless expecting a BIG windfall in return, and I don't mean for the taxpayers.

By: karlwithak on 11/29/10 at 1:51

orangey-I've been to the Tn State Fair every year for at least the last 10, I've also attended at least 7 flea markets a year, at least 5 other random expo events every year, and every single race event and practice for the last 10 years. So whining is bad, but a mayor and finance director costing the city over 100 million dollars in bad ideas is ok ?

You're an idiot.

By: producer2 on 11/29/10 at 1:52

Are we debating whether we should keep the "fairgrounds" for the use as a flea market or for use as a State Fair? Those are two entirely different issues and by what I am seeing from some Council members I do not think even they are looking at the distinction. Orangey is correct in the assessment that a "State Fair" is far more agricultural based and should be in a place that is more in line with KY or Missouri (which is also not in the Capitol City) These are true agricultural fairs that combine all the elements one has come to associate with a State Fair.

By: orangey on 11/29/10 at 1:56

Karl with a K
You assume I am an idiot. I assume you push a broom around the concessions if you've been to every race and practice for the last 10 years. I am sorry that you will be losing your job there. I hope you are retrained for some other useful purpose in your life beyond name calling.
O

By: Inglewoodlife on 11/29/10 at 2:11

So some of you are ok with spending millions of tax dollars on a shopping mall lease for years to move the events that are held at the fairgrounds that cost the taxpayers nothing. When all the while I would say that 90% of the venders and most of the other events held there will not go to the mall so we would be wasting tax dollars.

By: gdiafante on 11/29/10 at 2:33

It must be the new "thing" to always bitch about tax dollars. They could get a 100% ROI and people would still complain.

Yawn

By: karlwithak on 11/29/10 at 2:47

Orangey - Actually I pulled up to every race and practice in a half million dollar tractor trailer carrying my two $50,000 race cars. Post your email address and I can send you photos and video if you need proof.

So tell me again how much smarter you are than I ?

By: bfra on 11/29/10 at 2:58

karl - Couldn't you tell by orangey's comment, he wasn't too swift?

By: Yoni on 11/29/10 at 3:11

Sistah Leo
One idea might be to move the state fair to the Wilson County Fair site. The current site there could be expanded and perhaps as the county even retains a few farms not sold off to development the fair might show/retain some of the state fair's original agricultural roots. As I recall, I could be wrong, isn't there also a racetrack nearby between Lebanon and Murfreesboro and an interchange or bypass (840) created to support that? Just a thought........

By: Inglewoodlife on 11/29/10 at 3:12

@gdiafante. When you show me how they are going to get or could get 100% ROI then I will stop (as you say) bitching. But until then this just does not make good business since.

By: karlwithak on 11/29/10 at 3:20

Sistah Leo
One idea might be to move the state fair to the Wilson County Fair site. The current site there could be expanded and perhaps as the county even retains a few farms not sold off to development the fair might show/retain some of the state fair's original agricultural roots. As I recall, I could be wrong, isn't there also a racetrack nearby between Lebanon and Murfreesboro and an interchange or bypass (840) created to support that? Just a thought........

Yes, you are wrong. There is a facility there in the shape of an oval. But it's not a racetrack to support racing.

The site the Raines family donated for use of the state fair is located in Nashville, not Wilson county so that suggestion makes no sense either.

Why is it all these people in Davidson county want to send everything to Wilson county anyways ?
I thought having events that brought millions of dollars into the city was something people wanted.

If you don't like the fairgrounds then why dont YOU move to Wilson county ?

By: producer2 on 11/29/10 at 3:28

As you can see Yoni, having a good idea is not paramount here....

By: Inglewoodlife on 11/29/10 at 3:52

producer2. can you tell me where the GOOD part is in this idea.....

By: bfra on 11/29/10 at 3:53

producer2 - Any lame idea that supports spendthrift Karl (the carpetbagger mayor) is a good idea to you!

By: producer2 on 11/29/10 at 4:48

Having a State Fair in a more true Agricultural setting. It is certainly an idea worth exploring.

By: judyboodo@yahoo.com on 11/29/10 at 5:44

The State Fair doesn't have to be on a farm, it just needs to have facilities to house the animal's that are shown there. I'm sure that the other tenets that are in HH mall wouldn't mind shoveling up after the parading livestock is moved into and out of the former mall. Come to think of it, City Hall might be just the place.

By: tenn40 on 11/29/10 at 6:09

I hate to sound pessimistic but it sounds like the death of the Tennessee State Fair.

By: richgoose on 11/29/10 at 7:09

If you can get rid of the Hippodrome & Vandyland on West End you can get rid of anything that is part of our heritage.

By: MAmom on 11/29/10 at 8:51

Thank you Inglewoodlife for letting us know about the following website:

http://jamiehollin.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/flea-market-activities-at-hickory-hollow-mall/

The site contains moving testimonials with actual Flea Market vendors about their opinions about the Fairgrounds and HHM. The text is also very good (especially the section about the "Open Meetings" Act).

Thank you Jamie Hollin for researching and publishing your results.

By: MAmom on 11/29/10 at 8:58

The Hippodrome and Vandyland were privately owned properties.

The Fairgrounds property are not privately owned.

The public either has a voice - or SHOULD have a voice - about how the Fairgrounds property should be used.

By: MAmom on 11/30/10 at 8:12

Every time Dean or his people talk about this they distort the truth.

According to Option 1 in the Markin Study the current property was adequate and appropriate to operate the annual State Fair as it is now ...though changes to both operations and facilities are recommended. Only if the State Fair were made bigger would another bigger site be required.

So if you leave the State Fair the size it is now & where it is - the current site is okay per Markin.

But per Janel Lacy, Deans spokeswoman: " and the Markin report show clearly that the current site does not work as a fairgrounds,”.

The article also says: "Dean frequently cites Minnesota-based Markin Consulting, which in 2007 conducted a “highest and best use” study of the fairgrounds and found that the current facility is “too hilly” and essentially insufficient to hold a top-notch fair. "

------

Dean's spokeswoman also said: “[Mayor Dean] supports the state fair".

Also from the above article Rose says: "The site inside Davidson County best suited to hold a state fair is its historic location, Rose said, adding that the Metro-owned fairgrounds animal/agriculture facilities are “among the best in the state.” Keeping the fairgrounds operating one more year isn’t on Dean’s radar, however."

“We haven’t,” Rose said when asked if his group has received the type of support it would like from the mayor’s office. “I say that with a little bit of hesitation. They haven’t told us to go away and never come back. They have been cordial, but I think you can draw from what you see publicly. Their interest in the Tennessee State Fair is nil at the present.”

-----

Again, every time Dean or his people talk about this they distort the truth.

-----

Thank you Citypaper & Joey Garrison for trying to cover both sides of this topic.

By: Community-carl-... on 11/30/10 at 9:02

I agree with MAmom......Dean and his people distort everything to misrepresent the truth. I was raised to believe that mis-representation is the same as lying.
I don't like being associated with liars. As with disreputable lawyers, it seems that Dean is using his considerable skills as a "words-smith" to support his and his priviliged friends' agendas rather than focusing on true facts and supporting democratic ideals and common sense.

The sooner Dean and his elitist friends have their wings clipped. the better.

By: pswindle on 11/30/10 at 9:06

Are you telling me that we the people have no power?

By: Community-carl-... on 11/30/10 at 11:08

I believe "We the People" have the power if we have the will and resolve to use it.

Yes, I believe you can (and should) fight City Hall if it is advocating for the wrong thing(s).

We should not allow Dean to ram his agenda through, blatently disregarding the will of most area citizens, without a challenge. I am sick and tired of a few (not all)
rich and powerful people walking on and disrespecting large numbers of ordinary people and their views. We are still Americans, and this is supposed to be a democracy that we are living in. A few self-serving special interest groups should not be able to judge and dictate what is in the best interests of the masses.

By: fair_minded on 11/30/10 at 5:29

"Farewell" may be a bit premature....

Public opinion is still playing out on this issue, plus mr. dean and his cohorts are likely to find themselves in front of a judge before long, trying to explain why it is they are not following the State Legislation and the Metro Charter, both of which prohibit his actions... and both decree that there will be a State Fair in Nashville, and on that particular piece of property.

Dean should realize this and back down... all he's doing now is insuring that the Fairgrounds and it's events remain in limbo.... plus insuring that he will be a one-term mayor.