Nissan Stadium is being eyed as a temporary home for Nashville’s future MLS expansion club, which will begin play before its new stadium opens.
Last week, the Nashville Metro Council approved three ordinances and a resolution, putting together the elements for a new stadium project at The Fairgrounds Nashville. The 30,500-seat stadium will be home to Nashville’s MLS expansion club–backed by a group led by John Ingram–and is part of a $275 million project that will include an adjacent 10-acre mixed-use development.
Under the current project timeline, the new stadium is expected to open in 2021. Nashville MLS is slated to begin play in 2020, meaning that it will have to spend at least one season at another venue before the new facility opens. The arrangement for a temporary home is not finalized, but Nashville MLS CEO Ian Ayre recently confirmed that Nissan Stadium is on the club’s radar. Any plans to use the facility would likely require an approval process, but Ayre went as far as to call Nissan Stadium the “obvious choice.” More from the Tennessean:
Ian Ayre also confirmed that the team hopes to use Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, as a temporary venue for its inaugural 2020 season while a new soccer-specefic stadium is under construction at the fairgrounds.
Ayre, former CEO of Liverpool FC, who is just five and a half weeks at the helm in Nashville, talked to reporters at Pinewood Social ahead of Tuesday’s international friendly match at Nissan Stadium between the U.S. and Mexico.
He was addressing media just one week after Nashville’s Metro Council voted to approve four pieces of legislation to clear the way for the $275 million stadium project at the fairgrounds. It followed months of debate over the controversial plans….
Ayre called Nissan Stadium, which is owned by the city, the “obvious choice” and hopes it will be the venue. The Nashville Sports Authority would likely have to approve an agreement for the use of the stadium.
Nashville SC–which is owned by Ingram– has played its inaugural 2018 USL season at First Tennessee Park, which primarily serves as a ballpark for baseball’s Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). However, Nissan Stadium offers a much larger capacity and could be a logical option as a temporary MLS home. It has hosted large crowds for international friendlies in the past, and was used for Nashville SC’s home opener this spring after a high demand for tickets prompted a move from First Tennessee Park.
Image courtesy Nissan Stadium.
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