Vanderbilt Could Partner on Nashville MLS Stadium


Nashville’s MLS bid could have a key partner, as Vanderbilt University athletic director David Williams has confirmed discussions about a joint stadium proposal. 

The framework for the partnership is still taking shape, but one possibility for Vanderbilt is to utilize the facility its football program, which currently plays at Vanderbilt Stadium. There are certainly some key links to the MLS bid for the university, particularly now that businessman and Vanderbilt board of trustee member John Ingram is leading the city’s bid.

According to Williams, there is still work to be done to complete partnership terms involving the university and officials with the MLS bid. However, he says that discussions on the proposal have taken place and that The Fairgrounds Nashville has been one the sites under consideration. More from The Nashville Business Journal:

Williams told me a partnership between the two groups is likely if Hagerty and Alexander, with the help of local business heavyweight and Vanderbilt board of trustees member John Ingram, are able to land the city a franchise.

The question, Williams said, is whether that partnership would include a shared stadium for the soccer franchise and the university’s football team.

“We absolutely want to look at [playing soccer at their stadium]. … Our relationship when it comes to football is yet to be determined. … We’re nowhere near [determining it],” Williams said.

With the possibility of such a partnership, Williams said he has had multiple discussions with Alexander and other members of the ownership group about potential stadium sites.

The Fairgrounds site was an early frontrunner, Williams said, which led him to tour the site with members of the ownership group. However, he said he is unaware whether the location remains the most likely site.

Over the last several months, Nashville has had considerable momentum in its MLS pursuit, jumping to the top of our most recent expansion odds. With applications due at the MLS at the end of January, Nashville could certainly bolster its case by providing details on a potential partnership with a major university.

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