At meetings over the coming weeks, Nashville officials will seek feedback in planning for a Nashville MLS stadium project at the city’s fairgrounds.
One of the highlights of Nashville’s MLS expansion bid is its stadium plan, which calls for a new soccer-specific stadium to be developed at The Fairgrounds Nashville. The $275-million facility is one component of a larger project, however, as the total concept also calls for a mixed-use development that will lead to several amenities surrounding the venue.
As part of the community feedback process, Nashville officials will hold a number of meetings and workshops about the project this month. Through these meetings, residents will have an opportunity to weigh in on several issues, including plans for how the layout of the project could take shape. More from The Tennessean:
“This is really an opportunity for essentially the groups to come together to hear what the community has to say about quality-of-life issues and this site development as we make improvements,” said Laura Womack, executive director of the fairgrounds.
Womack said the process will be aimed at “figuring out how this all works together and how we can be a very cohesive campus once all the improvements happen.” It will also look to identify future uses of a private mixed-use development to be led by Nashville’s MLS ownership group headed by John Ingram.
The fairgrounds has teamed with the Nashville Civic Design Center, which will facilitate the series of public meetings. It begins Thursday with a pair of “community visioning workshops” where neighbors and fairgrounds supporters can weigh in on what they want to see.
“It’s not a blank-slate vision process. It’s ‘Here all of the components of the site that have to be there,'” said Gary Gaston, CEO of the Nashville Civic Design Center, adding that the design will need to identify access points and how to connect the site as a whole.
The Nashville Metro Council approved $225 million in bonding for the project last fall, while MLS formally approved Nashville’s MLS expansion bid in December. Some steps in the planning process remain, including approval from officials over a final lease, demolition of existing buildings at the fairgrounds, and re-zoning to accommodate the development that will surround the stadium.
The new Nashville MLS expansion franchise will be owned by Nashville Soccer Holdings, LLC, led by John Ingram of Ingram Industries, and backed by a group that includes Minnesota Vikings (NFL) owners Mark, Zygi and Leonard Wilf, and the Turner Family of Nashville-based MarketStreet Enterprises. It has not been officially announced when the team will begin play.
RELATED STORIES: Motion to Rescind Nashville MLS Stadium Plan Rejected; It’s Official: Nashville MLS Expansion Team Unveiled; Nashville MLS Push Shows More Signs of Momentum; MLS Expansion Finalists Make Their Cases; Attorneys Seek Dismissal of Lawsuit on Nashville MLS Stadium; Metro Council Approves $225M in Bonding for New Nashville MLS Stadium; Ingram Makes Pitch for Development at Nashville MLS Stadium; Tweaks Made to Nashville MLS Stadium Deal; Councilman Pushes for Harder Vote Threshold in Nashville MLS Plan; Public Weighs in on Nashville MLS Stadium; Women’s Soccer Discussed; Nashville MLS Stadium Development Plans Unveiled; Sports Authority OKs $225M for New Nashville MLS Stadium; Development Proposal at Nashville MLS Stadium Raising Questions; Nashville MLS Stadium Funding Proposal Unveiled