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The study, commissioned by the Metro Council also brings up options like getting rid of the speedway or moving the fairgrounds altogether. Fairgrounds officials say big events might go somewhere else if something isn't done.
Fairgrounds officials say events like the Christmas Village, which brings in some 60,000 people are vital to the sustainability of the fairgrounds and they won't be able to keep those events without some drastic changes.
"We've either got to upgrade our facilities here or we move [the fairgrounds]" said Buck Dozier, executive director for the fairgrounds. "We don't have a choice, you cannot continue as it is with the facilities. The facilities are getting old, they're very difficult to keep up,"
Dozier said he'd like to see the fairgrounds brought up to speed with similar venues in other states but the study suggests that wouldn t be easy or cheap.
"One of the scenarios had a ticket price of about $150 Million dollars," Dozier said. "And that is tearing everything down here and starting all over."
Dozier said the fairgrounds would need to find a sponsor or sell the naming rights to pay for it...and if not it might be up to midstate families.
"There's bond money," Dozier said. "There's tax money which I think is not going to be very palatable to some people."
The study says another option is to move the fairgrounds entirely, but Deanna Williams who's been setting up shop at the Christmas Village for the last five years says that might not sit well with customers or other vendors.
"There are some groups that probably would not come back," Williams said. "They just really like it here. They've come here for years."
Option three is to get rid of the much-debated Fairgrounds Speedway.
"There are so many people that love the races so you d hate to lose that too," Williams said.
The figures come from the first of two phases in the study. Metro Council will make the final decision on the future of the fairgrounds.
Monday, November 12 2012, 03:13 AM CST
Houston brother will be his own attorney in court
June 18, 2013 13:02 GMT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Roane County man will face federal gun violation charges next month without an attorney.
The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/17VlXpM ) reported Rocky Joe Houston will represent himself on a charge of possession of a gun by a felon.
The charge came after Houston earlier represented himself in state court on charges stemming from a police chase. He was convicted of evading arrest and reckless endangerment.
Houston and his brother, Leon Houston, were tried, but not convicted, in the 2006 shooting deaths of a Roane County deputy and his ride-along companion.
In federal court, Rocky Joe Houston is claiming the officer who charged him with the felony had no legal authority.
Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com
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AP Photo FX102, FX103
Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos.
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