IndyCar race possibly coming to streets of downtown Nashville

Posted at 9:01 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 12:07:18-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As Nashville continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is poised to host its first-ever IndyCar street race.

The latest round of meetings on the event will take place this week, and President and CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. Butch Spyridon is optimistic a final decision will be made in the coming weeks.

"I think we are really close," said Spyridon. "If you asked me to bet on it, I would bet we land it."

The process of meeting with IndyCar executives started awhile ago, but Spyridon said there are a few more steps to take before it is finalized. The race would be an addition to the current IndyCar circuit.

The proposed track would take drivers through parts of downtown and would be similar to streetcar races currently held in Detroit, Austin, St. Petersburg, Florida and Long Beach, California. Spyridon said there would be minimal disruption to local residents.

After building momentum hosting the NFL Draft, NASCAR Awards Show and NHL All-Star Game, it has been a while since thousands of visitors filled downtown for a major sporting event. Spyridon said the IndyCar race could bring $10-20 million in direct visitor spending, which would be a nice boost to the local economy recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think our track record on events, and our track record on drawing out of town visitors, and entertaining locals speaks well for what we can do," said Spyridon. "One of the things we try and do is bring different things to the table because we have to entertain Nashville while we entertain guests, and fresh is always good."

The Nashville SuperSpeedway did host IndyCar events from 2001-2008.

No date is set for the race, but it would be in 2021.