The potential of a brighter future for the historic Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (NFS) includes a plan to enhance progress of its neighboring communities.
Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) and six organizations have announced a Community Benefits Commitment related to the proposed restoration and renovation of NFS. Nashville Mayor John Cooper has proposed that Metro enter a long-term contract partnership with BMS to modernize the long-neglected speedway and give it an economically viable future as a multipurpose venue.
As BMS and Nashville Fairgrounds officials conducted more than two dozen outreach meetings with neighborhood stakeholders over the past year, an exciting opportunity emerged to form partnerships that can benefit community organizations and nonprofits.
“Being a good community partner is in the DNA of our company, and the more conversations that we had with neighborhood organizations, we were impressed with the dedicated missions being advanced by area nonprofits,” said Jerry Caldwell, BMS executive vice president and general manager. “We wanted to find a way that our presence at the Fairgrounds could have a mutually beneficial impact for the community. As we focus on turning around the speedway to give it a new life that contributes to a fully renovated Fairgrounds, we believe our responsibility includes being a good neighbor to make a positive contribution to the communities around us.”
The Community Benefits Commitment includes partnerships with six organizations and a broader program that includes volunteerism, fundraising and event facility use opportunities for nonprofits, arts and beautification initiatives, and more.
- BMS will work with Metro Nashville Public Schools’ neighboring Glencliff High School and Fall-Hamilton Elementary to invest resources for student success.
- BMS will work with Conexión Américas and its Casa Azafran facility to support the communities around the speedway. Specific engagement is committed for Conexión Américas’ longstanding micro-enterprise, culinary incubation, education and community development initiatives to benefit career and equal economic opportunity.
- BMS will partner with Operation Stand Down Tennessee to support military veterans and their families. BMS will host veterans’ events and honor military veterans at NFS events and programs to engage, equip and empower our local military veterans.
- BMS will partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, Inc., to provide educational access and activities for youth across Middle Tennessee Clubhouses.
- BMS will partner with the North Nashville Community Economic Development Consortium, a group of five nonprofits, to assist in MBE/DBE goals for track renovation, construction and ongoing maintenance, as well as workforce recruitment and development.
- BMS will create a Nashville chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, an organization devoted to raising money and distributing to local charities that meet the needs of children. A nonprofit arm of Speedway Motorsports founded in 1982 by BMS founder O. Bruton Smith, Speedway Children’s Charities has raised more than $60 million for local organizations to help children have a better, brighter and healthier future.
- BMS commits to a $15.50 per hour minimum wage rate for all full-time, part-time and event staff.
“The North Nashville Community Economic Development Consortium (NNCEDC) is excited about engaging with Bristol Motor Speedway as a Nashville community benefits partner. The NNCEDC is a partnership of five 501(c)3 organizations: The William F. Buchanan CDC; Jump Nashville CDC; Mt. Calvary Herman Street CDC; New Level CDC; and Be a Helping Hand CDC.
“We value transparent community communication, accountability and engagement,” said Carlina Bell Rollins, North Nashville Community Economic Development Consortium. “Because of this development and our partnership with Bristol Motor Speedway, we will be able to ensure that the communities we support benefit economically through this coming project. The benchmark of our success will be equitably determined by the stakeholders of North Nashville. We aim to surpass minority business enterprise expectations by creating deep and long-lasting partnerships between Bristol Motor Speedway and North Nashville neighbors and stakeholders.”