Nashville responded in large numbers to a high-profile CONCACAF Gold Cup match on Saturday, as over 47,000 fans turned out to Nissan Stadium.
With the city looking to boost its case for an MLS expansion franchise, backers of the bid hoped that Saturday’s event would resonate with local fans. The ultimate goal—which was to set a new state attendance record—came to fruition, as 47,622 fans turned out for the match between the United States and Panama.
One of the more notable aspects of Saturday’s match was the presence of MLS commissioner Don Garber. During his visit to the city, Garber offered comments that reflected his positive impression of Nashville. More from The Tennessean:
A day before the game, Garber raved about the city and said it is high on the list for an expansion team.
“Nashville is very much like Major League Soccer: It’s a city on the rise,” Garber said.
What will be watched going forward is the path that Nashville takes in its stadium proposal. Discussions of a stadium site have centered around The Fairgrounds Nashville, but officials have not revealed specifics relating to a funding model or a construction timeline. While most of its 11 competitors are still ironing out the details behind their stadium proposals, Nashville’s chances of landing a team will likely become more apparent as additional details are revealed and discussions on the facility unfold.
Garber, in a Q&A with The Tennessean, confirmed that he visited The Fairgrounds Nashville:
We got out of the car and maybe spent 30 minutes there. So we haven’t gone through a detailed analysis. We’ll go through that with the group over the next couple of weeks, but I certainly think a stadium could work there.
Saturday’s attendance figure broke the previous state of Tennessee record of 44,835. That mark was set in 2015, when the United Sates and Guatemala played a friendly at Nissan Stadium.
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