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Nashville mayor announces $250 million MLS stadium plan

Nashville’s MLS expansion chances received a major boost today in the form of a stadium plan.

Nashville appears to have checked off one of the most important boxes in the MLS expansion race today as the city’s mayor Megan Berry announced a $250 million plan for a 27,500 seat soccer stadium on the Nashville Fairgrounds.

Of that $250 million price tag, 90% of it is funded by the prospective MLS ownership group and revenue to be generated by the stadium.

The plan calls for $200 million of the funding to come from revenue bonds, while local government and the owners themselves are kicking in $25 million each. Bonds and other funding won’t kick in until the city is awarded a franchise.

“A Major League Soccer franchise represents an incredible opportunity for Nashville to continue its growth and take its place on the global stage,” Mayor Barry said. “This stadium plan and MLS bid represents significant private investment, and it safeguards taxpayers with a truly private-public partnership.”

This announcement certainly boosts Nashville’s chances of landing an MLS franchise in December. One of the league’s main criteria is a solid stadium plan, and Nashville is among the only ones who can present one at the moment.


  1. I know it is different sports, but Nashville has gotten behind their hockey team with almost no one playing the sport at youth levels. Tennesseans love sports in general, and despite the supposed lack of youth talent/development (which can largely be said of northwest TN, and rural parts.) Middle Tennessee is actually has a sizable amount of adolescents and youth playing the sport. Moreover, if you give Nashville a team to root for, they will get behind them. I am from Nashville, and I am excited to actually have a team to call my own in MLS.

  2. If Barcelona leaves La Liga, I think MLS should fast track them. If the NFL can consider London, why can’t MLS consider Catalonia?

    • By the way, this comment is 100% satirical. I posted the same thing on a facebook story and people were freaking out and calling me all sorts of unnecessary terms.

    • Going along with your thought experiment, whatever league Barca would consider, would have to match their existing TV revenues. Clearly MLS wouldn’t be able to do that, and only the EPL could, but even then the EPL’s tv revs are more evenly divided than what happens in LaLiga, so they’d still likely get less than currently. In other words, they’d never leave, since they’d lose alot of money.

  3. I’m all for awarding cities that have the support, foundation and financing. I’m not for awarding cities based on their name or supposed “ethnic” foundation to support the sport.

  4. Expect Nashville to get penciled in, mostly because the Southeast is severely under-represented – with existing franchises in just Atlanta and Orlando – and they’ll want to expand that.

    I’d caution people on this one, though. I was telling anyone who would listen that Atlanta was going to be a massive smash hit because of both Arthur Blank and the fact that the youth pool in Atlanta was ridiculously deep. The same is assuredly NOT the case in Tennessee…youth soccer in Tennessee is very weak, actually – teams from Georgia/South Carolina/North Carolina regularly go to tournaments up in Tennessee to collect easy trophies – and they aren’t going to have Arthur Blank as an owner. I honestly think the Triangle bid would be the strongest one going – North Carolina FC has the demographics you look for and a VERY strong youth base that’s probably even deeper than Charlotte’s…which is very strong itself.

    I’d go for the former Railhawks if it was my call.

    • We are soon to witness another FAIL predictor(quozzel) just like a bunch of lacked knowledge people that predicted Atlanta few years back. Do you know Nashville has the largest supporter in the South when US Soccer come to town?

      • @WestTuckyHillTopper No offense, but most people dropped their skepticism of Atlanta when they started raking in season ticket deposits and building a great squad, coaching staff and front office. If you’re willing to bet your life on Nashville being successful based on an NPSL team and selling out a couple non-MLS games each year, by all means, go ahead.

        I’m going to stick with cautious optimism for now. However, watching soccer fail multiple times in Austin makes me a bit nervous about how much support a “live music” city will actually provide for an MLS team. If they can sell out their 8.5K stadium every game next season, then I’d be much less worried.

        Best case scenario for me seems to be Orlando in terms of stadium and market: They draw 60K for a couple games at Nissan Stadium and sell out the other games at the AAA baseball stadium until the new stadium is ready, which they sell out by building a team under the Atlanta mold of young, talented DPs. Can they execute the Atlanta model with Gary Smith as manager? Is he just a placeholder for USL while they locate their own Tata? Are their owners willing to go all in like Arthur Blank? If not…

        Worst case scenario would be the Union/Dynamo/Impact: They sell out for the first couple years, but after a few years of finishing out on the playoffs, only 60%-80% of the 27.5K stadium capacity is filled and they are just another middling MLS market.

        Good luck WestnardKennySloppyToppy!!!

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