As the race for expansion slots 25-28 in MLS heats up in a big way, one contender has received a massive boost to their profile and hopes.
The bid to bring an MLS franchise to Nashville has gained the financial backing of billionaire John R. Ingram, chairman of Ingram Industries Inc. The Nashville-based company reportedly took in $2.3 billion in revenue last year.
An investment group led by Ingram expects to submit an official MLS bid by the Jan. 31 deadline.
“Nashville has a truly passionate fan base demonstrated by terrific attendance at national team matches,” Ingram told the Tennessean. “We’re a diverse, international city with a vibrant youth soccer scene and a booming population. We’re also a proven major league sports town. Nashville is ready for the world’s biggest sport played at the highest level.”
The announcement adds further tension and drama to an expansion race that could see as many as 10 viable candidates submit bids for the four available slots. Nashville was also recently announced as one of the host cities for July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, and will host a U.S. Men’s National Team match.