Nashville Mayor Cooper Says He Wants Soccer Plan That Makes Financial Sense


Nashville Mayor John Cooper has been no fan of Nashville’s major league soccer team on the Fairgrounds Nashville site.

Nashville SC offered to pay $54 million more for the stadium, FOX 17 News said.

The two sides issued statements this past week to make their cases on why they’re not getting along.

Nashville Soccer Club’s emailed statement said they were working with Cooper to address his concerns and they had made the proposed deal “even better” and how the stadium was crucial to having it located in Nashville and how disappointing the mayor’s position was.

Even with these proposed new solutions, the Mayor today refused to commit to move forward with the demolition and the approved stadium plan.  During today’s meeting, MLS Commissioner Don Garber made it clear to Mayor Cooper that Major League Soccer would not have awarded Nashville an expansion team without the commitment made by the city to build a soccer stadium at the Fairgrounds.  The Mayor’s continued refusal to proceed is a deep disappointment to Nashville SC and MLS.

Nashville SC has agreed to work with the Mayor’s office over the next week to advance the discussions and finalize a plan to begin the stadium construction project.  We hope for a mutually agreeable solution and expect to have an update regarding the project by February 6.

As The Tennessee Star reported in December, season ticket sales were reportedly sluggish at around only 5,000 sold at that time, far lagging the pace set by other expansion clubs.

Meanwhile, attorney Jim Roberts said that it was “a golden opportunity to walk away from a bad deal with no penalty to taxpayers.” Major League Soccer players can instead have games at Nissan Stadium, where the Tennessee Titans play.”

Cooper on Thursday issued this statement:

“Since entering office four months ago, I’ve worked towards a complete solution for the Fairgrounds that is both financially sustainable and results in a successful, unified site plan. This past week, I met with racing advocates as well as MLS. I appreciate MLS and its advocacy for professional soccer in Nashville. I also appreciate all parties are working together to improve the plan for the entire Fairground, both in design and financing. I will continue to chart a path forward that makes good financial sense for all of Nashville’s taxpayers.”

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “John Cooper” by John Cooper.





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2 Thoughts to “Nashville Mayor Cooper Says He Wants Soccer Plan That Makes Financial Sense”

  1. rick

    The only options should be use Nissan stadium or do not play! Nashville needs the money for a lot more important things than soccer. NO MONEY FOR A SOCCER STADIUM – WE ARE BROKE!!

  2. Kevin

    I don’t quite understand. We already have a taxpayer funded stadium specifically designed for soccer. It’s called Nissan Stadium! Atlanta FC plays in the Mercedes Stadium, Chicago FC plays at Soldier Field, Seattle FC plays at Century Link Field, New England SC plays at Gillette Stadium, all American football stadiums, AND New York City FC plays at Yankee Stadium, a baseball stadium, WHY CAN’T NASHVILLE SC PLAY AT NISSAN STADIUM???

    Why does Nashville, a financially failing city, have to pour millions of taxpayer dollars to build something that they already have?

    Interesting that a man who wants to be our next US Senator, Bill Hagerty, is involved. This gives us a glimpse of how he will use taxpayer dollars if elected to the Senate.

    Also interesting that the Haslam family are the owners of the Columbus SC!