Nashville SC announced Monday that the club has extended CEO Ian Ayre’s contract through 2026. From the full press release:
The Nashville SC ownership group, led by principal owner John Ingram, today announced the extension of Chief Executive Officer Ian Ayre’s contract through 2026. Ayre has served as CEO of the club since 2018.
“We have a great team in place right now – on and off the pitch,” said Ingram. “We have above- expectation results and a lot of momentum in the right direction, and that’s in large part because we have Ian leading the way. Our confidence in him continuing to do so at a high level is evidenced by this extension. Our success on the pitch and in the front office are absolutely linked, and Ian has been critical in building our club up to the major professional sports organization it is today. I look forward to bigger and better things ahead.”
Ayre’s contract will keep the former CEO of Liverpool Football Club and English Premier League CEO of the Year in Nashville through the 2026 FIFA World Cup™, which will be hosted in North America and for which Nashville is currently bidding to become a host city. With the recent extensions for General Manager Mike Jacobs and Head Coach Gary Smith, the Nashville SC front office will have stability for the foreseeable future.
“It’s been a blessing so far to see what Nashville SC has become, so it’s humbling to know that I will continue to be a part of this journey for years to come,” said Ayre. “I couldn’t image a better team and city to be surrounded by, and I will always be extremely grateful for being given the opportunity to lead this club. With our stadium getting ready to welcome fans through its gates in 2022, the future couldn’t be brighter.”
During Ayre’s tenure with the club, Nashville SC overcame all sort of challenges in its inaugural season while still setting new league records and becoming the first MLS expansion side to win and advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs since the 1998 Chicago Fire. Midway into their second MLS season, the Boys in Gold are tied in third place in points in the Eastern Conference.
Off the pitch, the club continues to solidify its foundation in Nashville, as its fandom and season ticket membership, currently among the top 10 teams in MLS, continues to grow ahead of its new stadium opening in May of 2022. Following a successful launch and sellout of premium spaces such as the Premier Club and the Loge Boxes, the stadium will be at over half full capacity when general seating for 2022 goes on sale tomorrow, Aug. 10.
Under the leadership of Ayre, Nashville SC will welcome MLS Commissioner Don Garber for a series of events in Music City tomorrow. Commissioner Garber will visit the new Nashville SC Stadium in the afternoon, prior to joining Nashville SC Defender and MLS All-Star Walker Zimmerman and Lead Singer of the band Judah & the Lion and writer of Nashville SC’s official anthem I’ll Never Give Up On You Judah Akers for an exclusive Q&A session with Nashville SC Season Ticket Members moderated by the club’s Color Commentator Jamie Watson at Von Elrod’s Beer Hall & Kitchen in Germantown.
The extension is well-deserved. With low expectations from the national media and fans alike, Nashville SC put together one of the best expansion seasons in league history, making it to the Eastern Conference semifinals in their first year. They’ve continued to improve in 2021, currently in fifth place in the East.
Nashville have build a solid base from the top down, and the results on the field are evident.