Columnist: Major League Soccer Could Have Played in Nissan Stadium Instead

Nissan Stadium

If members of the Nashville Metro Council wanted to save taxpayers some money they would have arranged for the city’s Major League Soccer team to play in Nissan Stadium, according to a new column.

This, instead, of building a pricey new stadium.

Nissan Stadium, of course, is where the Tennessee Titans play for the National Football League.

Eric Boehm published his column for Reason before Metro Council members voted 31-8 this week for a $275 million MLS stadium project at the Nashville Fairgrounds.

He said his idea, though, makes more sense.

“Taxpayers are already on the hook for $300 million in upgrades to Nissan Stadium, home of the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans. That stadium is within walking distance of downtown and could easily be adapted to host soccer games,” Boehm wrote.

“In fact, Nissan Stadium has regularly hosted the U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams. Teams from the English Premier League, widely regarded as the top soccer league in the world, have played there. It’s also one of the stadiums proposed as a site for the 2026 World Cup. Why exactly does the city need a new soccer-specific stadium?”

No one at MLS returned The Tennessee Star’s request for comment on the matter.

MLS officials, Boehm went on to say, will not consider expansion bids that don’t include soccer-specific stadiums as part of the plan.

“But the league has been happy to look the other way in places like Seattle and Atlanta, where soccer teams share NFL stadiums. Another MLS team plays in Yankee Stadium—awkwardly, since baseball fields and soccer fields are not really compatible—and the league allows that,” Boehm wrote.

“MLS has two overriding goals: To get as many deep-pocketed new owners as they can, and to get as many new stadiums as they can for those owners—preferably paid for as much as possible by somebody else.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]









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7 Thoughts to “Columnist: Major League Soccer Could Have Played in Nissan Stadium Instead”

  1. […] columnist opined in 2018 that Nashville Metro Council members should save taxpayer money and arrange for the city’s MLS […]

  2. […] columnist opined last year that Nashville Metro Council members should save taxpayer money and arrange for the city’s MLS […]

  3. […] columnist opined last year that Nashville Metro Council members should save taxpayer money and arrange for the city’s MLS […]

  4. […] The Tennessee Star reported last September, the Metro City Council decided to pay $275 million for a new soccer stadium instead […]

  5. Howie Acuff

    This is one of those “just gotta understand soccer” issues. There are dual-use stadiums that host soccer games and then there are soccer-specific stadiums that allow soccer to exist in a proper atmosphere. If one is looking at the bottom line, and the MLS franchisees are looking to the taxpayers, then making Nissan Stadium dual use is a natural answer. But if one is looking at building a soccer culture in Nashville, then a soccer-specific stadium is going to make a world of difference. For most games, a home crowd of 20-30k is ideal. On the occasional event game when a larger venue is needed, then go to Nissan Stadium. But having routine games in a stadium that is less than half full makes for a miserable soccer environment. I’ve been to see the New England Revolution play in Foxborough – the team suffers as even a good crowd can’t fill enough seats to create a proper home-field advantage. I would suggest rethinking the method of funding over simply shifting the venue.