A resolution requesting the Metropolitan Board of Fair Commissioners to consider including a theme park as part of the Fairgrounds master plan.

WHEREAS, the 117-acre Metropolitan Fairgrounds property, located in the heart of Nashville, is in close proximity to other downtown entertainment venues including the Ryman Auditorium, LP Field, the Bridgestone Arena, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Nashville Convention Center; and

WHEREAS, although some events at the Fairgrounds remain successful, the Fair Board has been forced to use revenues from its fund balance in recent years to make up budget shortfalls; and

WHEREAS, Section 2.78.010 of the Metropolitan Code requires the Board of Fair Commissioners, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Department of Parks and Recreation and the Metropolitan Planning Department, to develop a master plan for the future development and operation of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds site and surrounding area; and

WHEREAS, the Fair Board is in the process of selecting consultants to assist in the preparation of the master plan; and

WHEREAS, Metropolitan Nashville brands itself as Music City, USA, and promotes a wide variety of entertainment for tourists and resident citizens; and

WHEREAS, the Opryland USA theme park was once a tourist attraction that sat on 120 acres, had 27 total rides, and witnessed 2.5 million visitors annually to the park; and

WHEREAS, the tourist revenue generated for the city by Opryland USA was extremely valuable in promoting Metropolitan Nashville as Music City, USA and funding operations of the city; and

WHEREAS, owner Gaylord Entertainment chose to close the Opryland USA theme park in 1997, resulting in lost tourist revenue for the city; and

WHEREAS, the city has failed to compensate for the lost tourist revenue with the closing of the Opryland USA theme park; and

WHEREAS, theme parks have continually succeeded in attracting tourists, generating large amounts of capital, and in being a positive source of work for the local population; and

WHEREAS, the Dollywood theme park is situated on 150 acres, has 26 total rides, generates 2.5 million guests to the park annually, and has 3,000 local residents on its payroll, making it the largest single employer of the east Tennessee community of Pigeon Forge; and

WHEREAS, there are numerous theme park development companies located throughout the United States whose projects represent reputable, money making ventures; and

WHEREAS, theme park companies will typically cooperate with municipal officials to complete a feasibility study and develop a master plan for the particular site; and

WHEREAS, the 117-acre Fairgrounds site would be an ideal location for a theme park to supplement the entertainment environment of downtown Nashville and its designation as Music City USA; and

WHEREAS, the theme of the proposed park should be centered on Country Music and NASCAR to supplement the existing entertainment venues of the downtown Nashville area; and

WHEREAS, such a theme park will be a beneficial attraction for tourists of Metropolitan Nashville, generate substantial revenue for the city, and provide invaluable work opportunities for the local population.


Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as requesting the Metropolitan Board of Fair Commissioners to consider including a theme park as part of the Fairgrounds master plan. Such park should preferably include country music as its primary theme with a secondary theme focused on NASCAR racing.

Section 2. That the Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Resolution to each member of the Board of Fair Commissioners.

Section 3. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Bruce Stanley


Referred to: Codes, Fair & Farmers Market Committee
Introduced: November 15, 2011
Adopted: November 15, 2011
Returned Unsigned by Mayor: November 17, 2011