After hours of debate that stretched into the night, Metro Council voted to approve measures needed to move forward with plans for a Major League Soccer stadium at the Fairgrounds in Nashville.
Council voted to demolish certain buildings and structures necessary for the construction of the new stadium.
Members voted to approve the rezoning of 10 acres for private mixed-use development.
They approved a motion to issue $50 million in bonds needed for infrastructure and upgrades.
Council members also approved a resolution to put a soccer practice facility in North Nashville at a site to be determined.
Earlier during the debate, a proposal was made to let the voters decide on the $50 million dollar bond issue in a referendum in November. The motion was defeated.
Nashville Mayor David Briley released a statement after the vote, which reads:
I applaud the Council for its final approval of legislation to bring Major League Soccer to Nashville. This project will have a positive, lasting impact on our entire community. It embraces growth and new opportunities while ensuring every resident benefits and thrives with it. This project will provide needed upgrades to the Fairgrounds, essential affordable housing, broad minority business opportunities and increased safety protections for our workers. This project will improve the Fairgrounds facilities but it will not change our customs or the activities we cherish. I pledge to all of those engaged in these discussions over the past months that I am listening. Together we will build on the years of community tradition at our Fairgrounds and I look forward to continuing to work closely with you as this project moves forward.
Several hours before the vote, the group called Save our Fairgrounds filed a lawsuit in an effort to protect the Fairgrounds and stop Metro Government from building a soccer stadium at the site. They called the plan the “rape of an institution” and a “ripoff of the taxpayers.”
The soccer stadium controversy is one of the hottest development issues facing Nashville.
News 2 digs into the rapid growth of Nashville with a series of special reports all day Thursday. Watch Nashville 2018: Progress vs. Preservation.