Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Taxpayer won't be stuck after Superspeedway closes

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We will continue to operate through October because we have a lot of track rental events on the books, said Cliff Hawks, vice president and general manager of the superspeedway.

Well begin to winterize the facility in November. And in the meantime Dover Motorsports will be weighing all options. Obviously one of those would be the sale of the NSS to another entity.

If that happens and that company secures NASCAR dates for 2012 or 2013, then yes there could be racing in the future but at this point, I would say that if there is not a buyer at the table pretty soon, then at the end of October we would cease operations.

The political leadership here in Wilson County and the folks in Wilson County have been wonderful to work with, Hawks went on to say. And while we had the support we wanted, the majority of NASCAR fans in Middle Tennessee want to see the big show the Sprint Cup Series thats where they are all going. At the end of the day, we couldnt control (that) and led to this decision.

Nashville Superspeedway first opened in 2001 and is situated on almost 1,400 acres of owned land on the Wilson Rutherford County line on State Route 840.

The 1.33 mile concrete superspeedway has 25,000 permanent grandstand seats, lights for nighttime racing, foundation work for a dirt track, short track and drag strip and infrastructure in place to expand to 150,000 seats.

The actual cost of the facility, land acquisition and construction, was funded by Dover Motorsports Dover Entertainment at the time.

Infrastructure for the facility (water and sewer lines) was financed with $25.9 million in bonds $21 million of which remain outstanding issued by the Wilson County Sports Authority.

The interchange off SR 840 was funded by the State of Tennessee.

Wednesdays announcement does not affect these bonds and they will continue to be paid from any applicable taxes. To the extent that the taxes are insufficient, the Companys letter of credit will be drawn on to make up any difference

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto confirmed that the bonds were guaranteed by Dover Motorsports and were being repaid by property taxes on the facility. He also said that the bonds used to finance the track also funded infrastructure development projects along SR 840.

The bond structure paid for the infrastructure that went to the speedway, Hutto said. Several of the buildings out there along the 840 corridor were made possible by the funds for the speedway. Were grateful for the speedway being there ahead of time which led to the groundwork needed for those buildings to go in.

As of last year, the Nashville Superspeedway was the second highest payer of property taxes in Wilson County, exceeding $900,000 annually.

The decision to not hold NASCAR-sanctioned events at the NSS comes on the heels of Dover Motorsports decision to close its Memphis Motorsports Park in 2009 and its Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis in November 2010.

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