Nashville eyes 2020 MLS debut from Nissan Stadium


Nashville Nissan Stadium Image: Tennessean AP

Nashville’s Major League Soccer (MLS) team will join the league in the 2020 season and play in Nissan Stadium until its own facility is ready, according to media reports.

Ian Ayre, the club’s CEO, said final word on the debut season came from MLS at league meetings three weeks ago in Chicago, the Tennessean reported.

“That’s been confirmed now by the league,” Ayre said. “We’ve always been working to that date and at the recent league meetings that was confirmed.

“I don’t think it was a surprise. It was just a bit of sequencing. It doesn’t change anything for us. We’re very happy to be starting then.”

The upcoming MLS season kicks off the first weekend of March. The 2020 season could start in mid to late February with the introduction of a new playoff system.

Ayre, the former CEO of the Liverpool club in the Premier League, said the Titans of the NFL – the primary tenants of Nissan Stadium – have been very cooperative in working out arrangements for the soccer club to play there, according to the Tennessean.

“They continue to be a great neighbor and a great partner, really,” he said. “We’re very happy to start over there, start our journey and then, once our own home’s ready, we’ll move in.”

Metro granted final approval in September for construction of a $275 million, 30,500-seat stadium on the fairgrounds.

“In terms of this city, (Nissan Stadium) ticks all the boxes that we would need for that interim solution: Good stadium, good facilities, good capacity. We’re just excited to get going,” Ayre said. “There’s still some bits and pieces, work in progress, but it’s more of an operational discussion than some big negotiation.”

The club will soon relocate from its current offices near Purity Dairies to a location near the fairgrounds. Ayre expects the new stadium to be ready for the MLS team’s second season in 2021.

“That’s the plan. Absolutely,” he said.

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