Price tag rises for Nashville MLS stadium

Major League Soccer expansion franchise Nashville SC has released updated renderings of its planned new stadium amid cost increases related to the project.

Nashville SC plans on building the largest soccer-specific stadium in MLS with a capacity of 30,000. The club will enter MLS next year and will begin playing at Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans NFL American football team, as work on its Fairgrounds stadium is not due to be completed until 2021.

Local newspaper The Tennessean has now reported that the cost of the project is expected to cost between $50m (£40.8m/€45m) and $70m more than initially planned, although taxpayers are not set to foot the bill. The stadium had initially been expected to cost $250m.

Speaking to The Tennessean, Nashville SC chief executive Ian Ayre said: “It doesn’t change anything from a cost perspective as far as Metro (Sports Authority) is concerned. All of the additional cost is the soccer club’s cost, which it always would have been. We’ve had a close handle on that, to make sure the stadium is what we want, not just for ourselves but for other uses as well.”

The new renderings released by Nashville SC showcase the northeast main entry gate, northwest corner upper bowl view, north supporters entry gate and midfield lower bowl view.

Ayre, a former chief executive of English Premier League club Liverpool, said that the north supporters entry gate will serve as a focal point for fans. “Right next to that is a big open space which we really hope we bring to life. I like to describe it as the difference between going to a concert and going to a festival. You go to a concert, and you know who the band is, and you know all the songs.

“But when you go to a festival, you kind of go because it’s a whole eclectic mix. What we want to do on match days is bring together music, food and soccer to create a uniquely Nashville soccer experience.”

Nashville SC secured its intended site for a new stadium in September last year following a clear vote in favour of the project.

The Tennessean notes that a lawsuit seeking to block the project is currently under appeal, but construction of the stadium is not set to be affected by the suit.

Images: Nashville SC