Appeals Court Overturns Dismissal of Nashville SC Stadium Lawsuit

New Nashville SC stadium rendering March 2019 (2)

An appeals court has overturned the dismissal of a lawsuit over construction of an upcoming Nashville SC stadium, sending the case back to a lower court.

Nashville SC, which will begin MLS play at Nissan Stadium next year, is planning to build a new soccer-specific stadium and surrounding mixed-use development at The Fairgrounds Nashville. Contending that the project would take away existing parking and interfere with current uses of the Fairgrounds complex, the coalition Save Our Fairgrounds filed a lawsuit last September in order to stop construction.

A Davidson County chancellor dismissed the case in March, but the Tennessee Court of Appeals has overturned that ruling. In his ruling, an Appellate Judge said that the previous decision did not adequately address some arguments made by the coalition. The appeals court’s ruling, however, did not delve into the merits of the case. More from The Tennessean:

But Appellate Judge J. Steven Stafford is sending the case back to the lower court, according to court records filed Thursday, determining that several key issues argued by the group were not addressed. Those include the duties of the Fair Board and their ability to collect taxes on fairground activities. 

“On appeal, the Plaintiffs raised additional claims that other provisions of the Charter are being violated,” said Thomas Mulgrew, a spokesperson for Mayor David Briley. 

“The Trial Court had ruled there is no violation … regarding the continuation of the existing uses at the Fairgrounds,” Mulgrew said.

While the appeals court sent the case back for a ruling on those provisions, it does not address the merits of the case, he said.

Nashville SC is planning to open the new stadium in 2022. Construction has not started yet, as the facility is slated to be built on a portion of the Fairgrounds complex that is currently occupied by structures that will be replaced by new expo buildings elsewhere on the property. The new expo space is expected to host its first event in mid-August, with the demolition of buildings on the future stadium site expected to come after the State Fair in early September.

Renderings courtesy Nashville SC.

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