Nashville FC: 100 percent supporter-owned, now accepting founding memberships | SIDELINE
Never before has a soccer club in the United States been 100 percent supporter-owned and operated, according to the group who now claim they are the first to do so.
Nashville FC is their name, and "Our Town, Our Club" is their motto. In being 100 percent supporter-owned and operated, the draw to Nashville FC is the obvious opportunity to personally participate in choosing the direction of the franchise.
For $75, you can become a "Founder" of the club, which means you get a vote on all major decisions regarding the club, free admission to regular-season home games and the Nashville FC "Founders" scarf. For $40, you can choose to simply become a Member of Nashville FC, which still holds the voting power in all major decisions regarding the club.
"Without the financial investment of primarily one individual or one large corporation to help absorb the cost of day-to-day operations, we will instead rely on membership fees and multiple partnerships with companies in the local area," the club's website says. "What we are trying to accomplish, has never been done in the United States and which makes this very exciting."
Nashville FC will also accept flat donations from anyone not wishing to hold a stake in the club, but support them at the same time. All membership and donation transactions can be found on this page of the Nashville FC website.
Nashville FC aim to compete in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the fourth tier of the U.S. Soccer Federation pyramid, by their third year of existence. In the meantime, the club will play a handful of home games as an independent team in the spring of 2014, perhaps against future NPSL foes.
The club's local NPSL rival, you ask? Chattanooga FC, another Tennessee club in existence since 2009, and drawing in the neighborhood of 6,000 fans to games on occasion. The two cities are separated by only 135 miles.
Nashville successfully hosted the full US national team on a pair of occasion since 2009 — a World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago in 2009 and a friendly against Paraguay in 2011 — with attendances of 27,959 and 29,059, respectively — the latter a record crowd for a soccer game in the state of Tennessee.