It’s a Go for New Nashville MLS Stadium

Nashville MLS stadium rendering

It’s a go for a new Nashville MLS stadium, as Nashville’s Metro Council gave final approval to a proposed $275 million stadium project at the Fairgrounds Nashville that includes private development.

Technically, the Metro Council approved three ordinances and a resolution, which put together the elements of the plan in final format. The proposed new home of Nashville SC would include a new Nashville MLS stadium as well as a 10-acre mixed-use development that would include a hotel, housing, retail space and entertainment offerings. It would demolish existing buildings at the Fairgrounds Nashville to make way for the development. The Council had already approved stadium funding in the form of $225 million in revenue improvement bonds; these latest actions concerned the development side of the equation. The new stadium is expected to open in 2021, with Nashville SC set to move from USL to MLS in 2020.

None of the votes were particularly close, as the Metro Council beat back efforts to put the issue to a fall referendum or delay the decision. From The Tennessean:

The other three actions rezones the 10 acres to allow the mixed-used development; approves a 99-year ground lease between the city and the team for the private development; and authorizes $50 million in general obligation bonds to rebuild fairgrounds buildings and provide infrastructure upgrades.

Each were approved with at least 30 votes of support.

Several council members who voted for the project said they were torn, with some still bemoaning certain components, particularly leasing the 10 acres to the team’s ownership for private development. The development will be led by MarketStreet Enterprises, minority owners of the MLS franchise.

“I’ve been tossing and turning about this whole thing,” said At-large Councilwoman Sharon Hurt. “But I’ve been converted. I do believe this can be something that’s great for this city.”

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