Metro Council meets amid questions about Fairgrounds, MLS stadium funding

(Fox 17 News file photo)

Metro Council held a special meeting on Tuesday with many questions about the Fairgrounds Nashville property, Fair Park and the MLS soccer stadium that is still pending approval.

The meeting was a result of concerns popping up from people seeing construction and trailers pop up recently around the fairgrounds, according to Robert Swope, District 4 council member.

"It has been brought to the attention of this committee that the line between these two endeavors may have been blurred in recent months," Swope said

Swope is also the Chair, Codes, Fair and Farmers' Market Committee.

"That would be money approved by the council for work on that park," a project rep said during the meeting. "There's nothing here that we're trying to hide. We're not trying to ship money around. This is simply part of a construction project."

Metro Councilmember Steve Glover said it's not that simple.

"You signed off on these things," Glover said. "When I am looking at these invoices, it doesn't make sense to me."

Glover and other council members didn't hesitate to ask questions from the fairground, metro parks, finance and water department representatives present.

Metro Council approved $12 million for fairground improvements, but Glover said it doesn't look like that's where the funding is going.

"I want to understand why people are being paid for various things that look like it might be for stadium design," Glover said.

Another council member said it was premature and inappropriate because final council approvals haven't happened yet for the stadium plans.

"Right now, the people of Nashville feel like we're being hoodwinked because we say we're going to do things and then we slide them through and we do it the way we're going to," Glover said.

The fairgrounds executive director said construction is underway for the new restroom and roadways at the property with temporary office trailers for the project.

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