Following a meeting with Nashville Mayor John Cooper at Major League Soccer's office in New York City on Thursday, Major Leaguer Soccer and Nashville SC issued the following statement:
"Driven by the excitement of fans around Nashville SC’s opening game and the city’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, we couldn’t be more excited about soccer’s potential in Nashville."Earlier today, we met with Mayor John Cooper at Major League Soccer’s office in New York City to discuss the status of Nashville SC’s stadium project. The new stadium and ancillary development have very broad support throughout Nashville and has been overwhelmingly approved multiple times by Metro Council. "Despite that, Mayor Cooper has not provided approval to begin the demolition to move forward with the stadium project. So, for the past four months, Nashville SC has worked to make the stadium deal even better and has proposed a number of new solutions to satisfy his concerns."Even with these proposed new solutions, the Mayor today refused to commit to move forward with the demolition and the approved stadium plan. During today’s meeting, MLS Commissioner Don Garber made it clear to Mayor Cooper that Major League Soccer would not have awarded Nashville an expansion team without the commitment made by the city to build a soccer stadium at the Fairgrounds. The Mayor’s continued refusal to proceed is a deep disappointment to Nashville SC and MLS."Nashville SC has agreed to work with the Mayor’s office over the next week to advance the discussions and finalize a plan to begin the stadium construction project. We hope for a mutually agreeable solution and expect to have an update regarding the project by February 6."
Nashville SC, which begins life in MLS this year, will play its first two years in the league at Nissan Stadium. The club will open its inaugural season on Feb. 29 at home to Atlanta United. Nashville CEO Ian Ayre said last week that the club was close to selling out the lower bowl of the stadium and set the goal of selling out the venue in its entirety.