Mayor John Cooper, Nashville SC reach agreement on MLS soccer stadium in Nashville

Nashville SC
Plans for a stadium at the Fairgrounds will move forward, according to a Feb. 12 announcement. (Courtesy Nashville SC)

Plans for a stadium at the Fairgrounds will move forward, according to a Feb. 12 announcement. (Courtesy Nashville SC)

Mayor John Cooper and Nashville Soccer Club lead owner John R. Ingram have reached an agreement to move forward with building the soccer stadium at the Fairgrounds Nashville, according to a Feb. 13 announcement.

Cooper said the revised deal, which follows several months of negotiations, aligns with the community benefits agreements finalized in September 2018 between Nashville SC and advocacy group Stand Up Nashville. Under the deal, Ingram has also agreed the team will cover the $54 million in additional costs identified for the stadium.

“When I came into office, I inherited an incomplete deal that was not fully funded and did not provide for the success of all the uses of our historic Fairgrounds,” Cooper said in a statement. “I could not, in good faith, obligate taxpayers to more money or uncertainty around potential litigation. This deal lives up to our commitments to soccer, the Metro Charter, the other uses of the Fairgrounds, and my commitment to put taxpayers first in negotiations.”

The revised stadium deal includes the following conditions:

• Nashville SC will fund infrastructure work in the “immediate vicinity” of the stadium, which is estimated to total $19 million.


• The team will assume the city’s obligation to pay up to $35 million toward lease payments.

• The team has agreed to the construction of a plaza at parcel 8C, which will serve multiple uses.

• The city will proceed with the demolition process “immediately.”

"We are very happy to be moving forward with the stadium construction,” Ingram said. “The investment we are making is not just for our soccer team, it is an investment in the future of Nashville and the Fairgrounds.”

Nashville, which was awarded an MLS expansion team in December 2017, was the first of 12 cities that submitted formal bids to be awarded one of four available MLS expansion teams. The team will play its inaugural game Feb. 29 at Nissan Stadium.


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