Bristol Motor Speedway Announces Community Benefit Partners For Fairgrounds Restoration

Pictured: BMS EVP and GM Jerry Caldwell (center, second from left at podium) welcomed representatives from six community benefits partners during a special luncheon in Nashville as part of the revitalization plan for the historic Fairgrounds Speedway. Photo: Courtesy of the Bristol Motor Speedway

The initiative to bring NASCAR back to the Nashville Fairground Speedway took a major step forward after Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) and six local organizations announced a Community Benefits Commitment partnership.

“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,” says Jerry Caldwell, BMS EVP/GM. “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.”

BMS and Fairgrounds officials conducted more than two dozen outreach meetings with neighborhood stakeholders over the past year to form partnerships that can benefit community nonprofits. These organizations are Glencliff High School, Fall-Hamilton Elementary School, Operation Stand Down Tennessee, Conexión Américas, Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee

“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 501c3 organizations: The William F. Buchanan CDC, Jump Nashville CDC, Mt. Calvary Herman Street CDC, New Level CDC and Be a Helping Hand CDC,” says Carlina Bell Rollins, North Nashville Community Economic Development Consortium.

“We value transparent community communication, accountability and engagement,” Rollins continues. “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.”

The Community Benefits Commitment offers programs that support the community, including volunteerism, fundraising and event facility use opportunities for nonprofits, arts and beautification initiatives, and more. Highlights include:

  • 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, specifically for Conexión Américas’ longstanding microenterprise, culinary incubation, education and community development initiatives.
  • 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 TN Clubhouses.
  • 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, healthier future.
  • BMS commits to a $15.50 per hour minimum wage rate for all full-time, part-time and event staff.

This follows Mayor John Cooper’s announcement of  a partnership with BMS to renovate the Fairgrounds Speedway, which has already seen major developments with the addition of the Nashville SC Stadium.

To read about the full offering of programs and initiatives, click here.

Steven Boero