Nashville Awarded Soccer Team For New Stadium

The city of Nashville was awarded one of four available Major League Soccer franchises, announced at the city’s Country Music Hall of Fame Dec. 20.  The team’s debut season, team name, colors and logo will be announced later.  

Nashville MLS Stadium Rendering
HOK Architects
– Nashville MLS Stadium Rendering

The team will play in a new, 27,500-seat stadium at The Fairgrounds Nashville in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood.

“Nashville is a rising city with a passionate soccer fan base, a dedicated ownership group and civic leaders that truly believe in this sport,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber stated.  “Nashville continues its ascent as one of America’s most dynamic communities, with its incredible energy and creativity.”

The team will be owned by Nashville Soccer Holdings investment group. Partners in the club include Ingram Industries Chairman John Ingram, as well as Minnesota Vikings owners Mark, Zygi and Leonard Wilf.

The city has seen strong turnouts for exhibition matches, including a July 8 match that drew 42,622 fans to Nissan Stadium, and 56,232 July 29 to see Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur in the International Champions Cup.

A U.S. women’s national team SheBelieves Cup match against France last year drew more than 25,000.

Nashville is already home to NFL’s Tennessee Titans, who play at Nissan Stadium, and the NHL’s Nashville Predators who play at the major concert venue Bridgestone Arena.

Nashville is the third city in the southeast U.S. to get an MLS franchise, with teams added in Orlando in 2015 and Atlanta in 2017.

Some $275 million in financing for the new stadium was approved by the city in early November ahead of the league’s decision. 

Metro Nashville City Council voted 31-6 Nov. 7 for $225 million in revenue bonds for the stadium itself and another $50 million in bonds for renovations and improvements around the stadium at the current fairgrounds.

Twelve locations have expressed interest in MLS expansion teams. Other cities vying for MLS are Cincinnati, Detroit, Sacramento, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Charlotte and Raleigh.