As of July 1, 2010, Metro Nashville’s Finance Department will control theTennessee State Fairgrounds.
The official announcement of the city’s impending takeover came in a letter from Nashville Mayor Karl Dean to the Fair Board. This leaves the future of the annual State Fair, monthly flea markets, antique shows, and racing up in the air.
When Mayor Dean’s letter was read at Tuesday night’s Fair Board meeting, many in the crowd of close to 200 booed. Race fans and fairgrounds supporters are upset that traditions dating back decades will be displaced.
But, Fair Board Chairman, James Weaver says they have to abide by Dean’s wishes. Essentially the city is the landlord and for the past few years, the fairgroundshaven’t been able to meet the rent.
“We felt that it was irresponsible to just continue to operate the entity at a loss year after year after year until we had no money left in our savings or reserve account.”
This past fiscal year the fairgrounds budget came up short about one million. While the flea market and other events make money, the State Fair has been a drain on the budget for years.
The flea market and other events will continue as usual at the fairgrounds up until June 30th.