Nashville SC is backing a group that seeks to bring the MLS to the city, putting the USL organization in alliance with the expansion bid.
In Nashville there have been distinct developments relating to the city’s professional soccer scene. One of them is establishment of DMD Soccer’s Nashville SC, which has been expected to join the USL in 2018. The other ongoing effort involves Nashville’s ambition to the MLS, with businessman and former state economic development official Bill Hagerty leading an organization committee. It was previously known that Hagerty sought DMD Soccer’s backing in the plan, and that idea came to fruition this week, when DMD Soccer co-owner David Dill joined Hagerty’s committee.
The issue for both Nashville SC and a prospective MLS franchise is the stadium. Nashville SC is still trying to secure a facility for its launch, while Hagerty and his committee are expected to generate plans for a soccer-specific stadium for the MLS. Both of those tasks are still pending completion, but Hagerty believes that Nashville SC’s standing in the community will foster any MLS bid, and perhaps allow Nashville soccer scene to grow. More from The Tennessean:
All of us have the same goal of putting major league soccer here, and I think they’re going to be playing an important part of generating a lot support and showing Nashville as a real and professional soccer city,” Hagerty said.
Hagerty said he envisions DMD Soccer probably being a part of Nashville’s MLS ownership group if Nashville is awarded an MLS team. He called the USL’s Nashville SC team “a natural affiliate” of a future MLS team.
In the meantime, he said the enthusiasm and growth of Nashville SC would help support the MLS push by showing that Nashville is a place where pro soccer can thrive.
Nashville is one of many cities that is competing to be part of two future waves of expansion, which will bring the number of teams in the league to 28. More likely than not, Nashville’s arrival in the MLS–if its bid is successful–would come after Nashville SC is established.
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