Competing bid could mean two state fairs in TN - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Competing bid could mean two state fairs in TN

Posted: Updated:
  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

    Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

    Sunday, April 20 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-04-20 18:22:44 GMT
    Former midddleweight boxer Rubin Carter has died. (Source: Flickr) Former midddleweight boxer Rubin Carter has died. (Source: Flickr)
    Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died at 76.Full Story >
    By GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, died Sunday. He was 76.Full Story >
  • FORECAST: Warm Easter Sunday!

    FORECAST: Warm Easter Sunday!

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:50 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:50:59 GMT
    That big orange "egg" in the sky will shine upon us throughout this Easter Sunday.  Meteorologist Steve Norris says along with the bright sunshine, the mercury will soar into the mid 70s...
    Full Story >
    That big orange "egg" in the sky will shine upon us throughout this Easter Sunday.  Meteorologist Steve Norris says along with the bright sunshine, the mercury will soar into the mid 70s...Full Story >
  • Ukraine, Russia trade blame for shootout in east

    Ukraine, Russia trade blame for shootout in east

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:03 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:03:52 GMT
    The Ukrainian and Russian governments are reporting a shootout at a checkpoint set up by pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine that has left one person dead and others hospitalized with gunshot wounds.Full Story >
    Within hours of an Easter morning shootout at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine, Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement blaming militant Ukrainian nationalists and Russian state...Full Story >
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A Memphis group has made a substantial offer that could mean two state fairs in Tennessee.

A state commission created by the legislature has already contracted with a nonprofit to put on the official Tennessee State Fair this year, but now a professional fair operator out of Memphis is offering to pay $500,000 to the Metro Fair Board to put on the annual fair at the state fairgrounds.

For the last two years, a nonprofit association has put on the event under a contract with the fair board, but now Universal Fairs of Memphis has sent a letter to the fair board, offering nearly 10 times as much for the privilege of running the fair.

"It would be half-a-million for this year, for a fair in September, and a quarter-of-a-million dollars a year for two years after that," said Melissa Bast, with Universal Fairs.

Universal Fairs puts on the Delta Fair in Memphis and other big fairs in other states.

Two years ago, the legislature created the new state fair commission, which has already contracted with the same nonprofit association that ran the fair last year.

Now, two different government entities are in charge and two different organizations both want to use the same site at the same time.

"I think it complicates things a great deal. It's two layers of government that conflict," Bast said.

A group called Save the Fairgrounds says this should be a no-brainer. They want the Metro Fair Board to take the $500,000 offer.

"I think this is great," said Shane Smiley, with Save the Fairgrounds.

The advocates say, that way, the fairgrounds won't have to ask for a taxpayer subsidy, which it is expecting to do this year for the first time in its 100-year existence.

"This half-million dollar deal should eliminate that," Smiley said.

The nonprofit association that ran the fair last year did not want to comment for this story, except to say they are continuing to negotiate a deal with the Metro Fair Board in good faith.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow