Legal hurdles in the rearview mirror, Nashville MLS stadium can forge ahead

ExpoBuildings_Feb_2019.jpg
Current status at the Fairgrounds. Paul Chinetti – special to FCAC

Yesterday, the Tennessee State Fair Association withdrew its lawsuit against the metropolitan government of Nashville. The TSFA, which intended to halt or at least delay construction on the Fairgrounds site for Nashville MLS stadium, may re-file at a later date, but for the time being, litigation surrounding the battle to get a stadium built for Nashville SC’s MLS outfit is – finally – over.

Of course, construction has already begun at the site. Foundations have been poured for some of the Fair Expo building replacements (which will be completed before the existing Expo buildings are torn down, ensuring there’s no gap without exposition space at the site), on the parcel of land just North of the Fairgrounds Speedway. Wedgewood Road will be re-routed to pass between the new Expo Buildings and the Speedway, with the former Walsh Road (the defunct intersection along the main Road – Nolensville Pike – in the upper-right portion of the photo) absorbed into the site of the Expo buildings.

The stadium is planned for southernmost area of the “high-ground” portion of the site (with a park down the hill, already near completion). According to Nashville MLS Chief Executive Officer Ian Ayre, planning for the stadium is coming along. From the Nashville Soccer Supporters Trust:

“Ayre confirmed that stadium planning and design continues to move forward…. Once designs are further along and the club reaches critical points where [discussions with the Supporters Trust] are possible, he will let ST know. He also explained that the club has consulted with many other teams to understand what works well for supporters in their respective venues, and he will combine that insight with the input from ST.”

That certainly sounds like things haven’t progressed too far. We do know Populous is the design firm selected for the stadium, while Mortensen/Messer Construction will run the project.

The stadium is scheduled for completion (and it certainly seems time, not frugality, is the priority here) in 2021, with the club playing its inaugural season in Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, in 2020.

Many thanks to Paul Chinetti for the lead photograph. He’s also a graphic designer, and you can check out his work at PaulChinetti.com.

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