Monday afternoon, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry joined John R. Ingram to announce a $250-million, 27,500-seat stadium on the Nashville Fairgrounds, contingent on Metro Council authorization and the city's MLS expansion bid.
“We are making this investment in Nashville because we believe in this city,” said Ingram, CEO of Nashville Soccer Holdings and lead investor for Nashville's prospective ownership group. “This is a can-do community, and we know bringing Major League Soccer here is something sports fans want. We are an international city, and soccer is the world’s sport.”
According to a statement from the Mayor's office, stadium funding would come from a combination of three sources, with private funds and revenues generated totaling 90 percent of the outlay. The MLS ownership group would be responsible for lease payments for the facility used for debt service of the revenue bonds and covering any construction cost overruns. The proposed timeline places the stadium's opening in 2021.
Ingram's group also will cover the league's expansion fee, which has been set at $150 million for the two entrants to be announced by the end of the year (and start play by 2020). Nashville is one of 12 teams to bid for those two spots, and another pair that will ultimately expand the league to 28 teams.