California businessman John Loar is leading a charge to build another taxpayer-funded sports stadium in Nashville – this time for Major League Baseball.
Loar and other baseball boosters plan to travel to New York City to meet with Major League Baseball, WSMV said.
“What intrigued me about Nashville is just the growth, the corporate growth,” said John Loar, who is leading the efforts, earlier this year. “With the existing sports teams and just the music element to it, it has the Las Vegas vibe without the gaming.”
The group, called Music City Baseball LLC, wants to build a stadium in a mixed-use project near Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans, or the PSC Metals scrapyard.
Loar has previously discussed finance options with public officials, according to a story by Ballpark Digest. That publication said his venture is called Music City Equity Group.
Montreal, Portland and Las Vegas also are interested in pursuing baseball franchises, Ballpark Digest said.
As The Tennessee Star reported last September, the Metro City Council decided to pay $275 million for a new soccer stadium instead of using the Titans’ Nissan Stadium, which itself needs $300 million in upgrades.
Who is the man leading the charge for yet another stadium?
According to Loar’s website, his Danville, California-based firm “has worked closely with some of the top global brands to identify, implement, manage and monitor strategic initiatives like acquisitions, corporate re-organizations, deal transactions and market strategy.”
According to a story published Wednesday by SportsPro, Loar, who is Music City Baseball’s managing director, and Alberto Gonzales, the organization’s advisory board chairman, will make their proposal to MLB next week.
MLB has sent mixed signals about whether it wants to expand from 30 to 32 teams, SportsPro said.
Any MLB stadium would join Nashville’s other publicly funded sports stadiums for hockey (Bridgestone Arena for the Predators), football (Nissan Stadium), minor league baseball (First Tennessee Park for the Sounds) and the Major League Soccer team that should start playing in 2020.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.