Nashville SC is the first major league sports team based in Nashville since 1997. A young team, they quickly established their merit, skill and vivacious spirit. Nashville SC wanted to carry this momentum into a new home purpose-built for the team and fans. This dream became reality in 2022, with the opening of GEODIS Park.
Every touch point in GEODIS Park is infused with the spirit of the Nashville SC brand, making it uniquely Nashville down to the smallest detail.
Boasting a 30,100-person soccer game capacity, the Populous– and HASTINGS-designed stadium is the largest soccer-specific stadium in the U.S. and Canada. In the heart of Wedgewood-Houston, GEODIS Park sits at a critical crossroads one mile south of bustling downtown Nashville in proximity to the city’s strong international community, prestigious college campuses and the suburbs.
A soccer stadium is nothing without its fans, and Nashville SC has an ardent fan base. When crafting the design story for GEODIS Park, we designed the interior spaces to complement the exterior aesthetic. We also completed an in-depth sponsorship master plan that evaluated the stadium’s assets with potential local sponsors who could bring that space to life.
From the beginning, the stadium’s design nurtured the infancy of the Nashville SC brand identity. We created opportunities to further the team’s identity, bringing the passion of the Nashville SC fan base alive with an authentic design aesthetic that allows fans to influence emerging tradition with their own distinct enthusiasm to game day traditions.
TELLING THE NASHVILLE STORY
GEODIS Park is designed to speak to the creative and industrial history of Music City. The stadium leans into its environment in a manner that is unassuming and honest to the cityscape with an exterior that places an emphasis on Nashville’s rich industrial history. A simple, rational exposed steel structure with expressed cross bracing establishes a strong identity while creating an open-air venue protected by a 360-degree canopy.
The stadium acts as a catalyst for development and community interaction, upholding and revitalizing the legacy of drawing people together at the Nashville Fairgrounds. The Fairgrounds have a storied history of serving as a gathering place for residents. With the help of GEODIS Park, this gathering space has been reimagined.
Wedgewood-Houston is a buzzing creative neighborhood of former industrial factories alongside single-family residences. The stadium embraces that juxtaposition — the high canopy structure representing the industrial scale and the brick-clad ground level structures surrounding the concourse representing the residential scale. In true Music City fashion, GEODIS Park was thoughtfully designed to host concerts, creating an effortless experience for event operators, performers and fans.
Since the stadium’s opening, the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood has experienced a significant transformation into a vibrant community and entertainment district. This has spurred economic development with additional mixed-use projects underway on-site and in the surrounding neighborhood.
AUTHENTICALLY ACTIVATED: BRINGING THE CITY HOME
Using the authentic aesthetics of Nashville SC, the design leverages sounds and patterns to expand the palette of the team’s brand. The illuminated sculptural team logo suspended at the northeast gate of GEODIS Park is a beacon that can be seen as spectators approach the stadium.
Team branding is applied directly to brick and wood surfaces, while typography across the stadium references the textural quality of the Hatch Print Shows’ letterpress band posters. The design leans into fan culture and the rich music history that gives Nashville its defining edge to create a home for fans, visitors and vendors alike.
When completing our sponsorship master plan, we designed it to be able to incorporate local sponsors who would act as an extension of the Nashville SC brand and fit effortlessly into the story of the stadium. This holistic, thoughtful planning allowed GEODIS Park to connect with local vendors who would best represent the city and fandom. Custom brands telling the story of Nashville SC were created and brought to life through other vendors in the stadium. We were able to bring Nashville’s dynamic food scene to GEODIS Park through the integration of local vendors and uniquely created brands. From street tacos and empanadas to hot chicken and craft brew offerings, the city is reflected down to the smallest details.
DOWN-HOME AND UPSCALE
The magic of the stadium is found in the smallest of design details, each carefully selected to foster a meaningful and genuine connection with fans. The interior spaces of GEODIS Park embrace the creativity of the city.
There are a variety of premium spaces that are designed to seamlessly transition from a sporting event to entertainment, with a focus on high design and limited team branding. Wood was utilized throughout the suites and clubs to provide warmth while honoring the industrial aesthetic and maintaining Nashville’s nightlife atmosphere.
GEODIS Park’s success in Nashville is a result of the city’s own story. Tackling the design with a flat hierarchy, where interiors, brand activation and architecture all feed into one another’s stories simultaneously, allows for a seamless story intricately woven into every touch point of the stadium. GEODIS Park is unique, exciting and beautiful because it reflects the stories of a city, a soccer team and a fan base that embody those elements.
Photo by Tom Harris.