With Nashville SC’s penalty shootout playoff loss to Philadelphia Union and the news that all 2022 home matches will be played at the new Fairgrounds stadium, the club’s time at Nissan Stadium has come to an end.
Across four seasons, Nashville SC played 34 matches in their borrowed venue. They racked up an impressive record of 15 wins, 16 draws and just two losses. Ahead of their move to the Fairgrounds, we’re taking a look back on our 10 favorite Nissan Stadium memories.
1. USL home opener
0-0 vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds
March 24, 2018
While the 0-0 draw may have underwhelmed fans and foreshadowed later years, seeing 18,922 fans turn out for Nashville SC’s first competitive, professional match was a memorable moment and set the stage for the club’s later success. Nashville were held to just six total shots, but goalkeeper Matt Pickens made two huge saves to preserve a clean sheet and a point.
2. MLS Home Opener
1-2 vs Atlanta United
February 29, 2020
59,069 fans packed Nissan Stadium for Nashville’s first ever MLS match. While the Boys In Gold couldn’t pull off a win against Atlanta United, they put in a worthy showing in a 2-1 loss.
Walker Zimmerman’s 28th minute equalizer sent the crowd into a frenzy. Emerson Hyndman scored what proved to be the winner just before halftime, but Nashville’s opener announced that they were ready to compete in MLS. The atmosphere in their only pre-Covid home match was historic.
3. First MLS home win
4-2 vs Atlanta United
September 12, 2020
Albeit in an empty stadium due to Covid-19, Nashville’s first home win in MLS came in style. Dom Badji started the scoring in the first minute, opening the floodgates for a 4-2 romp over their Atlanta rivals.
Abu Danladi capped things off with a 57th minute goal, but Dax McCarty stole the headlines, scoring one and assisting three more. It was a historic night for both the captain and the club.
4. First crowd after Covid
0-0 vs Minnesota United
October 7, 2020
The action on the field wasn’t necessarily memorable, but having fans back in attendance for the first time in 221 days was a special moment.
Nissan had been eerily quiet without supporters, and even a heavily distanced crowd of 3,478 fans made a noticeable difference on the atmosphere. The cardboard cutouts in the supporters section was a nice touch.
5. First playoff win
3-0 vs Inter Miami CF
November 20, 2020
Nashville and Miami garnered plenty of comparisons in their expansion seasons, with Miami touted to be the more successful. Nashville finished in seventh place, while Miami finished in 10th and only snuck into the playoffs in the expanded Covid format.
On the field, Nashville left no doubt.
Randall Leal kicked things off with an absolute rocket. Goals from Hany Mukhtar and Dax McCarty silenced the traveling contingent with a goal each to cap things off, giving Nashville a playoff win in their first MLS season.
6. First unrestricted crowd since Covid
1-0 vs Austin FC
May 23, 2021
Nashville’s fifth match of the season saw unrestricted crowds return to Nissan Stadium for the first time since their MLS opener on February 29, 2020, one year, two months and 23 days prior.
Nashville won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Randall Leal, but the real highlight was the crowd of 22,421 and the incredible atmosphere they created.
7. A dramatic comeback
3-2 vs Toronto FC
June 23, 2021
Nashville didn’t lose a home match at Nissan in 2021, a remarkable feet considering they conceded first in exactly half their home matches. The Boys In Gold became masters of the comeback, with none more stunning than their 3-2 win over Toronto FC.
Toronto got a 26th minute lead, with Jack Maher’s first professional goal pulling the sides level in the 62nd minute. The visitors looked set for a stunning road win with Patrick Mullins’ 81st minute goal, but substitute Luke Haakenson responded within two minutes, pulling the sides level. His second came in the 92nd minute, sending the crowd of 17,000 plus into a frenzy.
The 2020 SuperDraft pick secured his spot as a Nashville cult hero in just his sixth MLS appearance, and his first two MLS goals couldn’t have come in a more memorable fashion.
8. Mukhtar’s six minute hattrick
5-1 vs Chicago Fire
July 17, 2021
There’s not much that needs to be said here. Hany Mukhtar scored the fastest hattrick in MLS history, finding the back of the net three times in six minutes in a 5-1 rout over Chicago Fire.
Each goal was progressively better, and the hattrick launched Mukhtar onto the national stage.
9. Fight! Fight! Fight!
3-1 vs New York City FC
September 3, 2021
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the fight to close out the first half of a 3-1 win over New York City FC. Nashville jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the hottest team in the Eastern Conference before a scuffle between Dax McCarty and Maxi Moralez lead to a bench clearing brawl.
Both sides played a with 10 men for the second half, but Nashville ended up pulling off a huge 3-1 win over one of the league’s best sides. The fight (and CJ Sapong’s reaction) will live long in Nashville lore.
10. Out with a bang
3-1 vs Orlando City
November 23, 2021
Nashville SC’s final game at Nissan Stadium was a memorable one. After going down early to a Daryl Dike header, the Six Strings once again came from behind to earn the victory. And once again, Hany Mukhtar was the driving force for Nashville, scoring a brace to win the match.
A comeback win against a rival. A brace from the superstar. A raucous crowd of 26,043 thousand. It’s hard to think of a more fitting ending to Nashville SC’s time at Nissan Stadium.
In just 153 days, Nashville SC will open their new cathedral and move on to the next phase in their history. But history was made at Nissan Stadium, and these moments will be looked back on fondly as the club continues to grow.