Nashville SC’s new stadium is privately funded and ready to be built. It’s time for Nashville mayor John Cooper to make the right decision.
Nashville SC is supposed to be getting a brand new stadium as it has joined Major League Soccer, but Nashville mayor John Cooper is making things difficult for the soccer club and the MLS.
The new stadium is going to be at the Nashville Fairgrounds, and there’s nothing in the way from Mayor Cooper starting demolition except himself. None of the buildings are still in use, and the utilities have already been prepared for demolition.
This new stadium would be a new attraction for Middle Tennessee soccer fans and would help with revenue in the city. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t have been started a long time ago.
It seems as if Cooper is holding out to see if NASCAR is interested in returning to Nashville, but with NASCAR attendance and sales declining, that would be a poor decision.
Cooper has been publicly pressured by the head of Nashville Soccer Holdings, John Ingram, publicly to start demolition and has even added new incentives such as $19 million in infrastructure and $35 million that Nashville would have to foot if ticket sales fall through.
I don’t think tickets will be an issue for Nashville SC. We’ve seen it with the recent successes of the Nashville Predators, Tennessee Titans, and Tennessee basketball. Tennessee sports fans will show up and show out for a good on-field product.
Build the stadium, give Nashville SC the field to prove themselves on, and let the fans roll in. As this continues to go on publicly, it’s going to look worse for Cooper as he continues to stall what could be a gold mine for the City of Nashville.
Fair Board Commissioner, Caleb Hemmer, is now also putting pressure on Cooper. Hemmer sent an email to Cooper on Friday, urging the mayor to get the job done.
"“While I am hopeful for an expeditious resolution to all the issues surrounding the MLS Soccer stadium project that leads to a compromise between Metro and the team’s principles in the coming days, I respectfully request you consider immediately executing the demolition permit for the obsolete Fairgrounds Expo buildings,” Hemmer said in the email obtained by The Tennessean."
Cooper has the opportunity to do the right thing and start demolition for the stadium, and he needs to get that ball rolling on Monday morning at the latest.
This stadium will be a home run for the City of Nashville, and could be host to more than just soccer games. The stadium is designed to offer potential outdoor concerts, so it is a multi-purpose venue.
This needs to happen now, and Cooper needs to forget about the small potential that NASCAR could offer, even though they haven’t offered anything. It’s time to embrace Nashville soccer and a new stadium at the fairgrounds.