Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- Nashville is one of the nation’s fastest growing cities and with more people, comes more interest in sports. Music City is home to professional soccer, football, hockey and baseball teams, and now the city might add a professional women’s team.
According to a report put out by Chantel Jennings and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, Nashville is on the WNBA’s short list when it comes expansion.
News 2’s Kayla Anderson recently spoke with Metro Sports Authority Executive Director Monica Fawknotson, who said the MSA is currently working on their final presentation for the WNBA.
It’s been a process when it comes to Nashville getting in the basketball mix. Fawknotson said it all started back in 2019 when the Sports Authority hired a consultant and sent out thousands of surveys to see what residents were interested in when it came to adding teams.
“We ended up getting about 4,400 of those surveys back and we were really excited with that response rate. And really they just gave us good insight into their overall interest in sports and what sports they were drawn to,” said Fawknotson.
Both the WNBA and the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) drew the most interest, and so they decided to pursue next steps with both.
Nashville has the population to support either team, but Fawknotson said it also has the necessary facilities available, especially when it comes to basketball.
There is a good chance that either Bridgestone Arena or Municipal Auditorium could be the future homes for a WNBA team. Fawknotson also believes the hoops history and location of Nashville plays in their favor.
“The goal when we started this process was to look at our existing facilities and figure out how to maximize use,” said Fawknotson. “I think we have some great options, and that is the exciting thing.”
The WNBA is looking to one or two more cities and the league is expected to narrow down expansion finalists sometime in the next several months. Fawknotson said they could find out something as early as September.
Other teams on the short list include; Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Toronto.