With MLS expected to soon make an announcement regarding expansion, a judge will review the facts of a lawsuit over a proposed Nashville MLS stadium.
Recently, a group of plaintiffs–including Save Our Fairgrounds–filed a lawsuit over the stadium, claiming that the facility would have a negative effect on protected uses at The Faigrounds Nashville. A portion of The Fairgrounds Nashville is where the stadium and related development would be built, if Nashville obtains an MLS expansion franchise. Nashville was recently named one of four finalists to join the league, and the Nashville Metro Council has approved $225 million in bonding for the stadium should the city receive a team.
Attorneys representing Nashville Metro had previously filed to dismiss, claiming that, among other issues, the plaintiffs lack the sufficient standing to proceed with the case. On Friday, a Nashville judge said she would take more time to review the case, meaning that there is a possibility a final ruling could come after MLS makes its expansion announcement. More from The Tennessean:
Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle agreed to take the complaint against Metro under advisement after hearing nearly two hours of oral arguments. She said she plans to continue to review the facts of the case.
It means the court’s final ruling could come after MLS announces whether Nashville has been awarded an expansion franchise. A league announcement is expected no later than Thursday. Nashville is one of four cities in the running for two expansion spots.
The stadium’s construction, and bonds to pay for it, are contingent on Nashville landing an MLS team.
The group Save Our Fairgrounds sued Metro this month, arguing that the addition of a 27,500-seat $275 million soccer stadium on the fairgrounds would compromise protected fairgrounds activities such as an annual state fair, auto-racing and flea markets. A Metro charter amendment approved in 2011 by Nashville voters protects all existing fairgrounds functions, but plaintiffs say a stadium would make it impossible to conduct such events.
Nashville is among a field of four expansion finalists that includes Cincinnati, Detroit, and Sacramento. Representatives from all four bids made their case to MLS commissioner Don Garber and the league’s expansion committee earlier this month, and the league could make an announcement later this week.
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