Nashville has been on the NTT IndyCar Series’s radar for years, but nothing has ever really come of the rumors. But with Roger Penske at the helm of the series, it sounds like there are going to be plenty of schedule changes coming in the future with Nashville’s Music City Grand Prix being one of the first additions.
IndyCar series officials have met with local government to start the talks, which sound promising. In a press release after a meeting on Thursday, the series said:
Yesterday’s meetings were extremely productive, and we continue making significant progress in bringing an IndyCar race to the streets of Nashville. While there is more work to do, we are aligned with Music City Grand Prix officials in working toward a finalized event agreement.
Music City Grand Prix officials were similarly enthused but made sure to emphasize the fact that this isn’t a done deal:
We are pleased to confirm that plans to bring an annual NTT IndyCar Series urban street race to Nashville progressed this week bringing us one step closer to establishing the inaugural Music City Grand Prix. Event promoters and organizers from Music City Grand Prix hosted Roger Penske and members of the IndyCar team at Nissan Stadium alongside key staff from the Tennessee Titans and other key stakeholders. We collectively agreed to work toward finalizing an agreement to bring an urban racing festival to Nashville with a presence at Nissan Stadium. While we are all excited by the Music City Grand Prix plans, to be clear this process is not finalized.
One of the big hold-ups has been, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic. No one wants to make any hasty moves with the unpredictable nature of the virus and its response, but the hope is that racing will have returned to normal by the time the event takes places.
According to the Tennessean, the inaugural race is proposed to take place in August of 2021 on a 1.5-mile circuit that would run through downtown, border the Cumberland River, and cut through the Nissan Stadium parking lot.
If the race is simply an addition and not a replacement for other races, the Music City Grand Prix would join street races in St. Petersburg, Florida; Long Beach, California; Detroit, Michigan; and Toronto, Ontario.