On Dec. 20, Nashvillians and soccer fans around the World anxiously awaited a long-anticipated announcement about Major League Soccer’s choice for its latest expansion team.
Commissioner Don Garber made the announcement at a news conference alongside Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and John R. Ingram, head of the group that will own the team.
“This is a city that we’ve really fallen in love with,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said.
“Everything about it fits our brand. We’re young. We’re on the rise. We’re very diverse. We’re very interested in trying to do things a bit differently than the other pro sports leagues have done,” he said. “We recognize that we’ve just finished our 22nd season. We’ve got generations of growth in front of us.”
The Metro Nashville City Council on Nov. 7 approved $225 million in revenue bonds to construct a 27,500-seat soccer stadium and an additional $50 million in bonds for renovations and improvements around the site at the current fairgrounds. The stadium could open by March 2021, with the bonds only waiting for Nashville to receive an expansion franchise.
“We will have a team that everyone can be proud of, and we will take a leadership role in enhancing the growth of the sport in a region that already has a passionate soccer culture,” Ingram said. “Nashville is going to be a very worthy addition to MLS.”
Mark Deutschmann believes that the expansion could not only have a positive impact on the neighborhood immediately surrounding the new MLS stadium but the news could also bolster interest in other surrounding areas.
“Wedgewood-Houston, Tech Hill, and other neighborhoods surrounding the Fairgrounds will likely see an influx of new residents, new retail shops, and more. This is certainly exciting news for Nashville.”
To read more about Nashville’s MLS win, click here.