A Chancery Court judge ruled that Metro Nashville’s contract to build the Major League Soccer stadium on The Fairgrounds Nashville is invalid because the meeting approving it violated the Tennessee Open Meetings Act, WSMV reported.
The Sports Authority gave only 48 hours’ notice before holding a special meeting to sign off on the $192 million contract with M.A. Mortenson Co./Messer Construction Co. on November 1, 2018.
The authority must reschedule a meeting, provide adequate public notice and conduct another vote, Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle said.
A summary of the case’s activity is here.
Nashville Attorney Jim Roberts, who’s representing Save Our Fairgrounds, one of the plaintiffs, joined host Michael Patrick Leahy on a February edition of The Tennessee Star Report – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – to discuss the lawsuit.
The transcript and audio are available here, but a summary of some of Roberts’ main points follows.
Leahy: What are the bad elements of it? The city is giving them 10 acres, and they can do anything they want to it includes building a stadium and mixed-use development which I think is in violation of the original terms of the establishment of the fairgrounds. Do I have that right? It’s very complicated. Lay it out for us.
Roberts: There are actually two elements to it. The mixed-use is part of it and the stadium is part of it. The mixed-use very clearly violates the 1923 Private Act that established the fairgrounds and the fair board. It violates the Metro charter. It is inconsistent with holding a fair in Nashville. And will pretty much lead to the re-development of the entire property because it will cause the other events like the flea market and expo to all fail. And that is the intention.
This state is also is in violation of the state law and the charter because it’s a use that’s not compatible with the fair. But you have to understand Michael that this property was created for one purpose. And that was to educate the people of Tennessee. To educate the people was to hold a state-level fair. And that’s what it’s for. And now just because 100 years later people want to get rich off of it is no reason to break the law.
– – –
Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.