Nashville steps up bid for MLS expansion with stadium deal


Nashville continues to make up more ground as it pushes to have a Major League Soccer franchise.

[ MORE: MLS expansion cities

Over the past few months Nashville has move huge strides forward to get a deal in place for a new MLS stadium and on Monday plans were announced for a $250 million, 27,000-capacity venue in Tennessee’s capital city.

Mayor Megan Barry joined John R. Ingram, the main man behind the MLS expansion bid, to announce the details of a stadium deal at the Nashville Fairgrounds site.

The Mayor’s office said that 90 percent of the cost of the facility would come from private funds, revenues generated and the MLS ownership group would pay a lease for the facility, while also pay for any construction delays.

Nashville believes the stadium would be ready for 2021 and Ingram’s group would pay the $150 million expansion fee for the clubs bidding to become the next two to enter MLS

With four cities set to be awarded the franchises from the 12 bids submitted, two are expected to join MLS in 2020 and a further two soon after.

Here’s a reminder of the 12 cities competing for the four franchises.

  • Sacramento
  • Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg
  • Phoenix
  • San Diego
  • St. Louis
  • Detroit
  • Nashville
  • Charlotte
  • Raleigh/Durham
  • San Antonio
  • Cincinnati
  • Indianapolis

Given its recent success as a sporting venue with the city getting behind the Nashville Predators of the NHL, plus Tottenham and Manchester City clashing at Nissan Stadium in front of a packed-out crowd in July and the U.S. playing games in Nashville, Music City USA is making plenty of noise when it comes to becoming a soccer destination.

MLS loves to see expansion franchises working closely with local government (see: Orlando, Atlanta and Minnesota) and Nashville’s bid certainly seem to have the Mayor’s office on board with their plans.