Nashville MLS Stadium Development Plans Unveiled

Nashville MLS stadium rendering

Lodging, residential, dining, and office spaces are among the key amenities of a proposed development at the Nashville MLS stadium site.

The larger concept for a MLS stadium at The Faigrounds Nashville includes a development component. As part of that plan, Nashville Metro would enter into a long-term ground lease for 10 acres that would be dedicated to mixed-use private development. The development team would be led by the Turner family, founders of MarketStreet Enterprises and minority owners in the MLS expansion group that is headed by John Ingram.

Project officials have now presented some of the specifics for the development. It would feature a new realigned street to connect Nolensville Pike to the stadium, with several mixed-use residential buildings that feature ground-level retail and dining space. Both market rate and affordable housing would be offered within the development, while offices would be constructed at the intersection of Walsh Road and the new street. The hotel would be located on the north end of Walsh Road.

Some elected officials have previously expressed their concerns about the development, but those behind the proposal believe that it offers some crucial advantages to Nashville’s MLS bid. More from The Tennessean:

Dirk Melton, development director at MarketStreet, said current MLS clubs and other cities vying for expansion teams have embraced the inclusion of ancillary development to activate areas around their stadiums when games aren’t going on.

“That’s what we’re trying to do here,” Melton told reporters Monday, stressing that plans aren’t finalized and that the community will get to weigh in.

“Certainly, this is a project that’s going to require a lot of public input,” Melton said. “This is a community-based project and one that responds to the unique character of this part of the neighborhood.”

Melton said a company has not been chosen to operate the hotel, nor have the developers decided on a number of rooms. He said plans for new convention-type space at the fairgrounds would help feed the demand for a nearby hotel.

The stadium proposal did take a step forward earlier this month, when the local Sports Authority authorized $225 million in bonding. The full Metro Council will need to approve the bonding as well, and its vote is scheduled for November 7.

If that moves forward and Nashville obtains an expansion franchise, Nashville Metro would issue up to $225 million in revenue bonds for the construction of a 27,500-seat stadium. It would also provide land for the project, and borrow $25 million in general obligation bonds to pay for infrastructure upgrades at the site.  The ownership group led by John Ingram would commit a $25-million cash payment, and pay $9 million annually to the Metro Sports Authority over a 30-year lease. That would cover some of Metro’s expected $13 million in yearly debt on the stadium, with the remaining $4 million covered by sales tax revenue generated by the facility, and a $1.75 tax would be added to every ticket that was sold.

Rendering courtesy HOK. 

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