NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After delays and tensions over the last few weeks regarding a stadium deal for Nashville Soccer Club, are fans worried about losing the pro sport for Music City?
A statement on Friday from Nashville SC said legally the team could leave if construction work does not start at the Fairgrounds by the end of March.
“I think the league has made it very clear that we could lose out. I think it would be embarrassing,” Metro Councilman Zach Young said.
Over the weekend a new website, buildthestadium.com, generated thousands of followers supporting the new stadium.
“Buildthestadium.com launched a website, trending number one on Twitter this morning. I think it’s already over 5,000 signatures in like 12 hours or something like that,” Sports Podcaster Davey Shepherd said. “Look, people want this thing built.”
But Mayor John Cooper and Nashville SC continue to send letters back and forth over one parcel of land at the Fairgrounds that Cooper would like to remove from the original deal.
That one parcel includes the speedway. And rumors have started that NASCAR may be wanting a spot on the property.
“No one has seen a single plan, no one has heard an honest answer from the mayor, anyone at NASCAR or anyone at Speedway Motor Sports,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd says the possibility of NASCAR should not halt plans for soccer to have its own stadium. And he says a new offer by Nashville SC owners to fully fund the project should make it a no-brainer.
“It’s 100% privately financed, and they’re going to match public infrastructure dollars for the surrounding area. And we don’t want that after it’s already passed 18 months later? How can you trust the city to do business?” Shepherd said.
But Young says with so much work already done for the project, he doesn’t see MLS bailing out of Nashville just yet.
“The team has given up a lot at this point, they are coming to the table offering some great things,” Young said.
After construction was delayed, Metro Councilman Colby Sledge suggested getting legal advice on the situation, tweeting that he filed legislation “that would validate the demolition contract without the mayor’s signature.”
Young says that ordinance would only create further divide.
“I think we’re really close to a solution, and that’s why I think councilman Sledge’s proposed legislation is absolutely unnecessary. And I think it’s using a chainsaw when maybe only a scalpel is needed,” Young said.
Sledge’s ordinance will have its first reading at the next council meeting.