MLS Commissioner talks new deal, delays of new soccer stadium

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Nashville Soccer Club lead owner John Ingram announced Thursday morning they have reached an agreement on an amendment to the future soccer stadium to be built at The Fairgrounds Nashville.

“I think everyone has just been on Cloud 9,” said Nashville SC Fan Jason Petty

Months of delays and back and forth discussions halted construction on Nashville’s MLS stadium, but now after the agreement, there will be no more delays.

“We’ve got a new deal and we are excited about honoring it and getting started with it,” said Nashville SC owner John Ingram.

Demolition is set to begin immediately, but the whole process of waiting was frustrating for both Nashville SC and the MLS.

“It is not the Nashville that we knew and it is not the Nashville we expected,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “I think it was just the view of one person and I think the entire city stepped up and followed through on this desire to be a good partner.”

According to a statement from Cooper’s office, under the terms of the revised deal, the team has agreed to fund 100-percent of stadium construction with private dollars through cash investment, stadium lease payments and revenues generated at the stadium by attendees of events. Cooper and Ingram have also agreed to a statement of principles including open space between the soccer stadium and the historic speedway.

“You do have to be determined in protecting the taxpayers,” said Mayor John Cooper. “So I am not apologetic that I took extra time to have it really good for the taxpayers.”

Jim Roberts, attorney for Save Our Fairgrounds, said the group was disappointed in the deal. They said they were counting on Mayor Cooper to protect a piece of Nashville and the fairgrounds.

RELATED: Save Our Fairgrounds group says Mayor Cooper has taken a terrible deal and turned it bad

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