Nashville eyes MLS expansion franchise

Soccer Generic
(Graphic: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The push is officially on to add Nashville’s third major league sports franchise. Will soccer beat baseball and basketball to Music City?

Major League Soccer is expanding and Nashville officially wants in.

The league currently has 20 teams with four more lined up, and it plans to add four more after that—the final four.

A group of around 22 business and community leaders have come together to make the pitch for Music City.

Nashville’s mayor Megan Barry says soccer is a perfect fit, and the committee feels it has a very strong case to prove that point.

“The demographics of Nashville have changed dramatically and very favorably for soccer. If you look at the influx of millennials to our area, the number of college students that are here now and the number of foreign-born Americans that are residents in our area, we really have changed demographically. That really does speak to soccer being perfect for our city,” said Bill Hagerty.

The Nashville MLS Organizing Committee members include:

• Gov. Phil Bredesen (Chairman, Silicon Ranch Corporation)
• Larry Brown (CEO, Boys Scouts of Middle Tennessee)
• Agenia Clark (CEO, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee)
• Sen. Bill Frist (Partner, Cressey & Co.)
• Gary Garfield (Chairman & CEO, Bridgestone Americas)
• Sean Henry (President & CEO, Nashville Predators)
• John Huie (Co-Head, CAA Nashville)
• Milton Johnson (Chairman & CEO, HCA)
• Ken Levitan (President, Vector Management)
• Rob McCabe (Chairman, Pinnacle Financial Partners)
• Mayor Shane McFarland (Mayor, City of Murfreesboro)
• José Muñoz (Chairman, Nissan North America)
• Colin Reed (Chairman & CEO, Ryman Hospitality Properties)
• Ralph Schulz (President & CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce)
• Butch Spyridon (President, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp)
• Barry Stowe (Chairman & CEO, Jackson National Life Insurance Co.)
• Steve Underwood (President & CEO, Tennessee Titans)
• David Williams (Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director, Vanderbilt University)
• Uzi Yemin (Chairman & CEO, Delek US Holdings)
• Todd Vasos (CEO, Dollar General)
• Bill Hagerty (Organizer)
• Will Alexander (Organizer)

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