The past few months have provided me with an unexpected yet welcome opportunity for professional reflection, most notably looking back fondly on my year as President of the DC Defenders before the league became a casualty of the pandemic. As my team and I put in long hours to build every aspect of our organization from the ground up – our identity, our culture, and our values – I rarely had the opportunity to truly appreciate our successes, even as 17,000 passionate fans poured into Audi Field to create the most unique and exciting environment in the XFL.
During that time, we often said that while “DC Defenders” was the title of our book, it would be our passionate fan base, our season-ticket members, our business and civic leaders, and our community partners who would write our story, which they did. The relationships we cultivated and nurtured allowed us to build an impactful brand identity, one forged by the city in which we lived, worked, and played.
Today I arrive in my new home refreshed, invigorated, and excited to begin the next chapter as the President of Nashville Superspeedway, ready to apply to this new role the lessons, experiences, and successes from the past two decades of my career in sports and entertainment, business and law. As much as I truly love D.C. for providing the fertile ground where I first put down roots in my professional and personal life, I feel an easy comfort with my return to the South – the region where I was born and spent countless holidays, summer vacations, my senior year of high school, college and law school.
At the heart of my new endeavor will be to not only prepare Nashville Superspeedway to host the NASCAR Cup Series in June 2021, but to transform the mothballed facility into a world-class venue, one that reflects the vibrant personality of the city of Nashville and the people of Middle Tennessee. This is an undertaking very familiar to me in both size and scope, having revived an underutilized RFK Stadium Armory Campus into an active destination for live events, participated in securing the necessary funding and development of Nationals Park in the heart of Washington, D.C. – which would go on to host the MLB All-Star Game, the NHL Winter Classic, and the World Series – as well as the city’s Entertainment and Sports Arena, home of the WNBA’s defending champion Washington Mystics.
With a keen understanding of the task at hand and the time involved, I’ve outlined for myself and our organization a list of short-term priorities that will serve as a foundation moving forward:
- Facility First: We will work non-stop to upgrade and position Nashville Superspeedway as an industry leader, providing our fans and guests with a re-imagined live experience while hosting safe, exciting racing and events.
- Create our Culture: We will build out a first-class staff with unmatched experience across multiple disciplines, and establish a culture of creativity, hard work, integrity, and inclusivity that reflects the region in which we live.
- Care for our Community: We will move quickly and thoughtfully to establish Nashville Superspeedway as a valued, respected, and engaged member of the sports, business, cultural and civic communities within the city and the surrounding region.
To say I’m excited about this new endeavor would be an understatement! There is certainly much work to be done, but I’m looking forward to meeting my new neighbors, the legions of NASCAR fans across the Volunteer State, and Middle Tennessee community leaders – hearing your ideas, and opening a dialogue about how we can work together to make Nashville Superspeedway a venue that honors the rich traditions of NASCAR, welcomes racing fans and live event attendees from far and wide and contributes to the incredible momentum and energy that will continue to propel Nashville forward as one of America’s greatest cities.
Erik A. Moses