NASHVILLE, TN — Moving Nashville’s soccer stadium from its proposed site at The Fairgrounds would cost the city its MLS expansion team, the lead owner of the team says.
In a letter to acting vice mayor Sherri Weiner, John Ingram, CEO and president of Nashville Soccer Holdings, wrote that proposed resolutions that would remove the requirement the $275 million stadium be built at The Fairgrounds are an existential threat to the future of professional soccer in the city.
A resolution filed Tuesday, sponsored by Steve Glover and Decosta Hastings, removes language from an earlier action that specifies the stadium be built at the fairgrounds and opens it up to be built on any land owned by Metro. Though not included in the bill, the pair floated the idea it instead be built at MetroCenter, which is in Hastings’ district.
The resolution also removes the language that turns 10 acres of the fairgrounds over to private developers – including Ingram, one of the scions of one of the city’s richest families, and the Turner family, founders of Dollar General and Gulch development giant MarketStreet Enterprises. That part of the plan was easily the most contentious bit of the proposal that nevertheless overwhelmingly passed the Metro Council in November 2017.
Ingram said if the council were to move the stadium, an agreement with Major League Soccer would be in default.
"Failing to build a site at The Fairgrounds Nashville will find us in default of our agreement, expose us to significant damages and would cost the city its MLS team," Ingram wrote.
Image via HOK