On Thursday, a meeting of the Nashville Sports Authority provided an update on stadium construction, and Nashville SC released new renderings of the stadium, as well as priority seating for the new stadium.
Nashville Sports Authority update
This morning, at a meeting of the Nashville Sports Authority, there was an update from Mortenson Sports + Entertainment and the team on the future of Nashville SC stadium.
The mission of the Sports Authority is to acquire, improve, repair, operate and maintain professional sports facilities and their surrounding campuses in Metro Nashville and Davidson County, within the provisions of governing contracts.
Mary Cavarra from Nashville SC (and Ingram Industries) observed that the digging should be finished within the next month and that the steel work will begin in January 2021. Carol Greenlee from Mortenson Messer noted, as she has in the past, that women owned business and minority owned business continue to be emphasized in building the stadium. The subcontracted work thus far has been conducted 37% by women and minority owned businesses.
Ian Ayre begin by observing that this was a timely moment for him to be presenting, as Nashville SC has assured itself of a playoff spot and, with a game in hand, has the chance to move up. He pointed out that all four teams before who made the playoffs in their first year also went on to win the MLS. Ayre then presented two videos (available on the NSC website) that are to be used primarily as sales tools; the videos provided a good sense of the stadium project and what is to come. While not running well on Webex, the videos begin with a sense of the excitement of the fans at Nissan, and then work through stadium design and hospitality. The videos show all levels of regular seating and club level seating, including the Premier Club (best seats), North Club (with a honky tonk feel), South Club ( with a sports bar feel). In addition, the video provides mock ups of standard suites on the upper level as well as shared suites for smaller businesses. Finally, the video showed the “supporters bar,” and Ayre was excited about the importance of this area as the stadium becomes our “spiritual home.”
The Sports Authority also passed a recommendation from the Women’s Profession Sports Ad Hoc Committee to award a contract for professional consulting services for Phase 2 of the Women’s Professional Sports Initiative. In the discussion of moving forward with hiring a consultant, and the optics of doing so during a pandemic, members noted specifically that the National Women’s Soccer League was continuing to expand during the pandemic, mentioning both Louisville and Los Angeles as expansion teams. While this was not a statement of intent in this direction, it was interesting to hear the NWSL as a motive for moving forward. Member Don Deering noted that hiring the consultant could help us figure out what sports would be the best fit for Nashville and observed both hockey and soccer as possibilities. Representatives at Nashville SC offered no comment about the future of a women’s team.
There were also a few minor resolutions passed regarding the MLS stadium. These included authorizing the Sports Authority Finance Chair and board liaison to the MLS Stadium to execute change order to the agreement for construction management service for the stadium for those items above the public bonds for the stadium. In addition, they approved an amendment to an agreement with Kimley-Horn for design services for infrastructure improvements related to the stadium project at the fairgrounds (items such as extending roads and a bridge project to facilitate traffic). Finally, a resolution was passed that came from the finance committee related to moving the $225 million dollar in bonds (the stadium is currently being construction through an MOU with the team. This allows the Sports Authority to move forward with the bonds that were part of the agreement with the team).
New stadium renderings
Nashville SC released new renderings of the stadium today, as well as a flyover video providing the most in-depth look at the project to date.
With 30,000 seats, the Fairgrounds stadium will be the largest soccer-specific stadium yet constructed in the United States, including a 3,000 seat supporters section, dedicated access and a bar for the Backline members, 27 suites and more.
Nashville also announced that for a limited time, fans who purchase 2021 season tickets will become First String members, automatically securing priority in the seat selection process for the new stadium in 2022.