Planning for a new Nashville SC stadium at the city’s Fairgrounds has stalled, as club and city officials try to iron out some issues.
Expansion Nashville SC will begin MLS play at Nissan Stadium in the spring, but the long-term facility plan calls for the club to eventually stage home matches at a new stadium at The Fairgrounds Nashville. The stadium is slated for the site of existing expo buildings, with the plan calling for replacements of those structures elsewhere at the complex before demolition occurs to make way for construction of Nashville SC’s home.
However, Nashville mayor John Cooper–who was critical of the stadium proposal during his time on the Nashville Metro Council–has yet to sign off on the demolition. Meanwhile, a lawsuit seeking to prevent construction of the stadium from the Save Our Fairgrounds coalition continues to linger over the project, and speculation has been raised about whether Cooper might decide to shift the stadium to another site. (A move that the club has said it would oppose).
Cooper’s administration, though, is pointing to uncertainty over funding for infrastructure improvements related to the project as a holdup. Nashville Metro officials previously approved $50 million in bond money to cover infrastructure, but much of that funding went into work on the larger fairgrounds improvement project. More from The Tennessean:
Cooper has said questions remain on how much taxpayers will be asked to spend for infrastructure costs surrounding the stadium, including upgrading water and sewer lines, roads and possibly a new bridge.
Cooper does not oppose the stadium project and is “certainly supportive” of soccer in Music City, his spokesperson Chris Song told The Tennessean on Tuesday.
“Demolition will occur when the next stages of the project are ready to go,” Song said.
The Metro Council approved $50 million in general obligations bonds to fund the infrastructure improvements around the site related to the stadium, but city officials say that most of the funding has already been spent as part of the ongoing overall fairgrounds improvement project.
Nashville SC announced earlier this year that the scheduled opening of the new stadium had been pushed to 2022, with the club slated to spend the 2020 and 2021 seasons at Nissan Stadium. A new cost estimate for the Fairgrounds stadium project, with increases covered by the club, and new renderings were released in August.
Rendering courtesy Nashville SC.
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