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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville city leaders made their final pitch to Major League Soccer representatives Wednesday in New York City.
Nashville was named a finalist in late November after months of proposals and planning to increase the city’s chances for a bid.
“We’ve got a market that could support an MLS team. An MLS team would be really successful in Nashville. We’ve got the right ownership group that’s got the right expertise and the right long-term vision,” said Will Alexander with Nashville’s organizing committee.
If a soccer team comes to Music City, a stadium would likely be built at the fairgrounds off Wedgewood Avenue.
“And then we’ve got a stadium plan that we can execute on and deliver a stadium in time to have a team in time that the MLS wants to see them playing. We think the addition of a team in Nashville would fill a geographic void for the MLS,” Alexander continued.
Lead investor John Ingram headed up the presentation for Nashville. Afterward, he released the following statement:
We’re grateful to MLS and the expansion committee for the opportunity to demonstrate, once again, why we believe Nashville should be in the first round of expansion cities. We have a city-supported, soccer-specific stadium solution in place, and we have strong grassroots energy for MLS soccer in Nashville. I’m proud of what Nashville has accomplished together in a short time to make today’s discussion with MLS possible. People all across our city, from elected officials to business and civic leaders, soccer fans and the public, have joined together in support of this bid. We believe MLS and Nashville are a perfect match and are ready to prove that Music City is Soccer City.
Sacramento, Detroit and Cincinnati are also in the running for the two available teams. The league is expected to award franchises to two cities on Dec. 14, but that date could be pushed back.
Not everyone is on board with Nashville’s current plans. A lawsuit was filed against the Metro government saying it didn’t follow the city charter in approving the deal. The lawsuit aims to stop the proposed redevelopment of the fairgrounds.