Community-first Nashville SC Stadium project



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Ron Deal on Coliseum US Image: Ron Deal, Nashville SC & Populous

Ron Deal comes across as a person who believes in taking the community along while going about any development. He is also a firm believer in the fact that stadiums must bring value to the communities in which they sit.

As the Senior Director, Facility Operations, Nashville SC, US, Deal has added a lot of value to the Major League Soccer (MLS) club. He is committed to delivering and managing professional facilities for fans, players, coaches, and sponsors. He also believes in working with the soccer community to build a vibrant supporter culture.

Nashville Soccer Club is a Major League Soccer team based in Nashville, Tennessee (US). The team began play in the league in 2020 as a continuation of the United Soccer League (USL) club of the same name and played its home matches at Nissan Stadium from 2020-21, before moving to the new SC Stadium in May 2022.

The 69,143-capacity Nissan Stadium is a multipurpose stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Owned by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, it is primarily used for Tennessee Titans (NFL) football as well as hosting the TransPerfect Music City Bowl (NCAA) and CMA Fest concert series.

The 30,000-capacity Nashville SC Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium opening in May 2022 at the historic Nashville Fairgrounds in Nashville, Tennessee (US). It will be the home of the Major League Soccer (MLS) club Nashville SC, which began play as an expansion team in 2020 at its temporary home in Nissan Stadium. Nashville SC Stadium will be the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States and Canada. The stadium will feature a 360-degree canopy, 65-foot-wide shared concourse, safe standing supporters’ section, and just 150 feet of distance between the last rows to the touchline.

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men’s professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, which represents the sport’s highest level in the United States. The league comprises 28 teams – 25 in the US and 3 in Canada – and plans to expand to 29 teams by the 2023 season.

Ron Deal provides exclusive details to ‘Coliseum’ as to how Nashville SC is all set to enter their new home in May 2022 and how the stakeholders involved in the stadium project are going the extra mile to ensure that the community reaps the rewards of the development.
 

Nashville SC in a nutshell

Informed Ron Deal, “Nashville Soccer Club completed its second year of competition in Major League Soccer (MLS). What we are working on presently is building our portfolio of facilities. Completing construction is our stadium which is three miles from Downtown and will open in May 2022 and then opening in late 2022 will be the First Team Training Facility.”
 

Finger on the construction pulse

Exulted Deal, “We are ahead of schedule as far as the construction of Nashville SC Stadium is concerned. The site was occupied by older buildings, warehouses and sheds that were used by flea markets, car shows and other events. We went through a multi-year process to get the nod to build the facility which also included public approval. The venue is located in a historic area in Downtown Nashville.”
 

Nashville SC Stadium features:

  • Three large videoboards;
  • Sideline LED ribbon boards and a pitch perimeter LED system;
  • Twenty-seven suites;
  • 30k seats;
  • Seven premium seating and club areas; and
  • Safe standing supporters’ section.

 
He further informed that the venue will be able to accommodate 30,000 spectators and will be a soccer-specific stadium “Which is presently the trend in Major League Soccer. Within the facility itself will be lodged premier spaces like the Goal Post Club, Premier Club and the WeHo Club and the stadium will sit in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood of Nashville…
 

Clubs’ advantages

 

Goal Post Club

  • Members-only club; and
  • Capacity – 688.

 

Premier Club

  • Members-only club; and
  • Capacity – 764.

 

We Ho Club

  • Members-only club; and
  • Capacity – 688.

 
Stated Deal, “The membership to these clubs gives you access to your seat for the games directly in front of the club. We are hoping that once the stadium becomes operable, we can open the above club spaces to the community for outside events. We expect to do lot of business. Being a new facility in town, we look forward to staying busy..”
 

Premium facilities

  • 25 Private Suites; and
  • Two large Shared Suites.

 
He further informed that these suite spaces enjoy both indoor and outdoor seating area – “The building has the necessary amenities to accommodate international soccer.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the 23rd FIFA World Cup™, the quadrennial international men’s soccer championship contested by the national teams of the member-associations of FIFA. The tournament will be jointly hosted by 16 Cities in three North American countries with 60 matches, including the quarterfinals, semi-finals and the final to be hosted by the United States while neighboring Canada and Mexico will each host 10 matches. The tournament will be the first hosted by three nations and will be the first to include 48 teams, expanded from 32.
 

Media zone

The Press Box in the Nashville SC Stadium contains numerous radio booths, TV booths and other working press areas “to be able to accommodate visiting media on gameday”.
 

Pitch perfect

  • The field itself is 120 by 75 yard;
  • No Crown; and
  • Latitude 36 Bermuda sod that’s been grown in Georgia.

 
Explained Deal, “We have worked with Precision Turf for the last five or six years even when the club was playing in the Second Division – USL Championship. They have provided all our turf needs. We have two field access tunnels in the venue – one on the Southwest for player entry and one on the Southeast for service access.”
 

Tifo Rigging

 

Safe standing supporters section capacity 3,186

It is always safety first for Nashville SC as Deal further put in, “We have constructed the safe standing area in such a manner that the soccer supporters will have individual rails in each row to lean against. We also have flip-up benches for use during concerts or American football games.”

He continued, “A lot of thought has gone into designing a Tifo Rigging System divided into multiple sections to give the supporters flexibility in how they want to create the gameday atmosphere.”
 

More details…

To the North of the stadium, stands a 25,000 sq ft plaza which will be open on gamedays and non-gamedays. Then there is the Supporters Gate right outside and also a Video Board outside the building as Deal maintained, “We will use the space outside the stadium to hold watch parties and we can also open up this stadium to the community for holding other events.”

Deal asserted that Nashville SC believed in giving back to the community and “How we can best give back to the City. We want to make this stadium a community asset in the real sense of the term.”
 

The Fairgrounds Nashville

 

Mixed-use sports entertainment district

 

Block A

  • Neighborhood scale;
  • Townhouses;
  • Daycare;
  • Residential; and
  • Commercial

 

Block B

  • Residential;
  • Commercial; and
  • Hotel.

 

Block C

(To be completed in Q1 2024)

  • 228 apartments;
  • 160 affordable;
  • 20,000 sf commercial; and
  • 500 space garage.

 
The Nashville Fairgrounds, also known as The Fairgrounds Nashville and the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, is an entertainment complex in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. The 117-acre site is located Southeast of Downtown Nashville on the Nolensville Pike.

The real estate developer in Nashville, Tennessee, MarketStreet Enterprises has minority interest in ownership of the Nashville Soccer Club. It is also involved in the redevelopment of the Fairgrounds area. The Fairgrounds itself has multiple uses and there is ongoing development going on within the Fairgrounds.

He further stated, “The City is in discussions with other parties to expand the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway capacity from 15,000 to 30,000. When the stadium project started, we were also very excited about being part ofa mixed-use development to add to the existing neighborhood.”

The 15,000-capacity Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is a motorsport racetrack located at the Nashville Fairgrounds near downtown Nashville, Tennessee (US). The track is the second-oldest continually operating track in the United States. The track held NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup (now NASCAR Cup Series) races from 1958 to 1984.
 

Community first

Deal stated that the Nashville SC Stadium project is all about giving back to the community and the City – “We have in place for the stadium construction project a Community Benefits Agreement which provides that people who will be working in the stadium in housekeeping, guest experience, maintenance and other departments will be paid at least $15.50 per hour, more than double the minimum wage.”

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