Nashville SC begins steel installation at new Fairgrounds stadium

Nashville SC began installation of the steel structure at their new Fairgrounds stadium on Friday, with a “Going Vertical” virtual ceremony. The steel beam installation marks the most visible phase of construction, which is set to be complete near the start of the 2022 MLS season.

Courtesy Nashville SC

“”Today feels like a very positive day for all our fans, our players, our staff, and for the city,” said CEO Ian Ayre, who oversaw major renovations at Liverpool’s Anfield. Ayre said the ability to begin the Nashville stadium project from scratch was a major part of his decision to take the job.

Nashville is also working on building a training facility in Antioch, which Ayre confirmed should be complete in mid-2022. The process is still in the design phase, although a Nashville SC spokesperson did add that more details will be available within the next few weeks.

“[These facilities] are very important, to be honest,” said Ayre. “Players have lots of choice. Sometimes it gets down to the wire on salary and transfer fees and all those things, but ultimately the players are bringing their whole lives and their families to a city. Their office is the practice facilities, so having a world-class practice facility is essential.”

Nashville’s Fairgrounds stadium will hold 30,000 fans and will be the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States. Nashville SC currently play their home matches at Nissan, before moving to their permanent home early in the 2022 season.

“”To put the first piece of steel in is a huge part of this thing really starting to be visible.” said Ayre. “I think anyone who supports any sports team knows that the home stadium of the team is its spiritual home. It’s where you have all those experiences and memories. We’ve had a fantastic time at Nissan Stadium, and I’m very grateful to the Titans, but it’s important to have our own home. It’s going to be incredible when it’s finished, and something everyone can be proud of.”

Comments

    1. Hi Nate, a couple things.

      1) Nashville SC doesn’t own Nissan, and are pretty limited in how much revenue they can take from game-days, and have to pay a decent chunk to rent each game.

      2) Nissan isn’t designed for soccer, so while it does work in a pinch, a soccer specific stadium would be a much better product in person and on TV.

      3) Nashville won’t sell 70k tickets for every home match, so having a more reasonable 30k venue will be more practical. Nashville also doesn’t really have a midsized venue, going from Bridgestone (20k, indoor) to Nissan (69k, outdoor). The fairgrounds stadium will be used for concerts as well as an occasional Vanderbilt football game.

      4) Most importantly, the city isn’t technically paying for it. They’re initially issuing revenue bonds (which come from the Sports Authority budget and don’t impact other areas of the metro budget), and will be paid back by Nashville SC’s ownership group.

      I think it makes a lot of sense for the team and for the city.

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