Boro Grand Prix? IndyCar season finale’s move from downtown Nashville roils teams, sponsors

Catch fences and other temporary ractrack equipment is stored in downtown Nashville on March 31, 2024. (Credit: Erik Schelzig)

Apr 01, 2024

The Music City Grand Prix’s retreat to a racing oval in Wilson County is leaving many racing fans, teams and sponsors nonplussed.

Unveiled to great fanfare as the season-ending event on the streets of Nashville, the event is instead being held at the Gladeville facility about 35 miles from downtown Nashville — or about 15 miles from Murfreesboro, where teams will now be based.

To prepare for downtown Nashville for IndyCar racing in 2021, organizers spent close to a year — and more than $8 million — to build a concrete pit lane in the Nissan Stadium parking lot, make road and bridge improvements and install concrete barriers and catch fences. 

Three years later, the parking lot is being torn up to build a new $2.1 billion football stadium and the temporary track-side equipment like tire walls and fencing sit in a lot north of the old stadium. Original plans had the event being held around the Lower Broadway tourist district, but when “significant challenges” of nailing down a suitable route couldn’t be remedied, the old Nashville Superspeedway was chosen as the new venue. 

Not everyone is pleased. According to, sponsors have complained about what they called a “bait-and-switch,” and teams have lost nonrefundable hotel bookings in the Tennessee capital.

“Based on all they were told about the splashy new season finale in downtown Nashville, each team went and hyped up their sponsors, made big plans, and built that event into their 2024 sponsorship and promotions plans,” according to the report. 

“Countless relationships have been stressed,” the Racer report said. “How many total logos are on the field of 27 cars, and how many calls to those sponsors, and how many blistering inbound calls or emails or texts did [team owners like] the Rahals and Shanks and Carpenters and Andrettis and so on receive about Nashville? None of their faults, but they get all the heat. Not a good look.”

The Nashville event is prompted by the Big Machine music label.

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