In a major win for Nashville's Major League Soccer expansion hopes, the Metro Council on Tuesday approved Mayor Megan Barry's financing plan for a new $275 million MLS stadium on the city's fairgrounds.
The council voted 31 to 6 to approve a plan to issue $225 million in revenue bonds for the stadium project, giving Nashville's expansion bid a critical boost as it competes against 11 other cities for an MLS franchise.
The action could make Nashville one of two favorites, along with Sacramento, to land an MLS expansion team after lead team investor John Ingram has done what several rival cities haven't — secured financing for a new stadium built specifically for soccer.
Nashville soccer fans won't know the city's fate, and whether the stadium will be built, until MLS awards two expansion cities next month.
"As stadium deals go, this is a standard-bearer," said Councilman Russ Pulley, who voted for the deal. "When you look at Nissan Stadium, Bridgestone Arena and First Tennessee Park, this deal is much better for us."
The stadium's approval, which comes just one month after the financing plan was introduced, crosses off the final box Ingram had remaining in his MLS push. It also delivers a big political win for Barry, who has worked with Ingram for the past year on the project and made it one of her top economic development undertakings.
More than 400 spectators, including many wearing Nashville Soccer Club gear, produced an overflow crowd at the Metro courthouse for the final vote.
I'm not saying this is something the school wants, but it's possible that they see this as a possible facility upgrade while freeing up land for them on a growing urban campus. Vandy isn't a large school and they rely on local fans to fill their stands, anyway, so if the location isn't that far the (possibly) improved venue experience might make the move worthwhile for them.
At the least, it's not like game days at Vandy is a huge money maker for the school. Not in terms of gate receipts, anyway.
"Study co-author Lawrence Kessler, a University of Tennessee research assistant professor, said no substitution effects were examined in the economic impact report but "we tried to be as modest as possible" when making assumptions and projections."
Metro attorneys have asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to stop plans for a Major League Soccer stadium at the Fairgrounds Nashville, arguing that the plaintiffs, led by the group Save Our Fairgrounds, do not have sufficient standing to bring the suit against the city.
In a motion to dismiss filed Friday, Metro attorneys also attacked the main argument of the lawsuit by maintaining that plaintiffs lack evidence that the addition of a new MLS stadium and park on the fairgrounds site would prevent existing functions, including an annual state fair, from being held.
A two hour meeting took place this morning at MLS headquarters.
"We made the case for Nashville to be one of the two MLS markets," Alexander said. "We focused the presentation on the key points that the league is interested in, what they're looking for, which is the market of Nashville, our ownership group, and our stadium plan.
"I think we made a compelling case," he said. "We're proud of the progress that we made. We're also satisfied we've made our best case possible."
#BREAKING #MLS commissioner Don Garber will be in #Nashville for an announcement tomorrow afternoon. This is big for our city. @WSMV @MLS @mls2nashville
Major League Soccer is coming to the music city.
The league all but confirmed Tuesday morning that the Nashville bid fronted by billionaire John Ingram and supported by the Wilf brothers, who own the Minnesota Vikings, has been accepted. MLS commissioner Don Garber will join Ingram, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam and Nashville mayor Megan Barry at an event Wednesday afternoon at the Country Music Hall of Fame, where they’ll announce the city’s entry.
Ingram and the city plan to build a 27,500-seat, $250 million stadium at the Fairgrounds Nashville site just south of downtown. Their bid was considered a long shot when it was announced in January. But Nashville’s cultural appeal, Ingram’s wealth, the public-private partnership (which included 10 acres for mixed-use development adjacent to the stadium), and stumbles by early expansion favorites left Nashville as the clear front-runner.
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1935, 1939, 1948, 2007, 2010
4x UEFA Europa League: (record)
2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016
1x UEFA Super Cup:
Like Rival Betis, FC Sevilla plans to expand the current stadium.
First the current stadium.
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