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Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Renovation rendering, black building with blue accents and large windows
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Renovations

Iconic Nashville Fairgrounds Get a New Look

Project Location

Nashville, TN


86,000 SF; 30,000 seats




Architecture, engineering, interiors

The Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is an iconic part of Nashville and NASCAR history. Long before auto racing, the track was used for horse racing, wrestling matches, concerts and State Fair events. The 6/10 of a mile track is the second oldest continually operating track in the country, which hosted NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup series races from 1958 to 1984 and is currently used for local, regional and ASA Stars race events. The Nashville Fairgrounds, Metropolitan Council and Bristol Motor Speedway have partnered to rebuild the racetrack for high level NASCAR-sanctioned racing as well as concerts and other large scale community events. The goal of the project is to honor the history of the facility while providing the amenities that fans expect at modern sporting events. The speedway is part of a larger redevelopment project that includes an MLS Soccer Stadium, mixed use retail and housing, parking garages, green spaces, parkland and the Fairgrounds Expo Center. The overall development is driving investment in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood.

The 86,000-SF project retains the racing surface and racetrack geometry and provides all new grandstands for 30,000 fans. A new building in turn 4 includes indoor suites, a premium club, rooftop race viewing deck along with operational spaces for the media and track management staff. The turn 4 building also provides tenant space for a restaurant that faces the adjacent mixed-use development.

The design of the facility includes a canopy that mimics the original grandstand shade canopy. Outside the Speedway a new public street, “Speedway Alley” ties the facility to the adjacent mixed-use development. Speedway Alley is designed as a street to support the Fairgrounds development but at race time can be closed to create a public plaza festival area for fans to enjoy.  To address the concerns of the adjacent neighborhoods, a 20’ tall sound wall encircles the track to mitigate the noise of the races. The infield of the track is being redesigned to accommodate all paddock functions for racing but also as a flexible community use space for festivals, concerts and for parking for the larger development. A new pedestrian tunnel under the track will provide a connection between the infield and the Fairgrounds Expo Center.

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