Nashville SC

Nashville SC stadium won’t be ready until 2022

Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre gave fans an update on the team’s website this mornming. The most notable tidbit from his letter is that the soccer-specific stadium won’t be ready for the beginning of the 2021 MLS season. Instead of moving in partway through that year, the club will delay its full occupation until 2022.

Given the size, scope and challenges in building what will be the largest soccer specific stadium in the U.S., we have adjusted our construction timeline such that we will begin play in our new stadium at the start of the 2022 MLS season.

We are excited about the new facility, and this new timeline does not change anything about our plan to join MLS for the 2020 season. We will play our home games at Nissan Stadium until our new home is ready.

We believe opening the 2022 season in our new stadium will be a better outcome for both our team and our fans. Moving into a new facility in the middle of the 2021 season and losing home field advantage could negatively affect our team on the field, and equally we believe this decision avoids disruption to our ticket holders midseason.

That’s not ideal (and the initial reactions online have seemed overwhelmingly negative), but it does make sense to me: had the choice been to move in midway through the 2021 season as has been the plan for some time, many of the same folks would have given their negative reactions to that decision, too.

The club has also outgrown its current office on Rundle Ave. They’ll be making the official move to their new facility in April:

As we continue to build for MLS, we will be moving our club offices in April to accommodate our growing staff. Our new office will be adjacent to the Fairgrounds, within walking distance of the site of our new stadium, and a city-wide search is underway for a permanent training facility site and academy facilities.

Proximity to the stadium will obviously be a good thing long-term, though given that the training and academy site is unlikely to be in that area, it could make for some interesting logistical concerns (though the technical staff doesn’t necessarily have to be based out of the administrative offices, either). I’ll be very intrigued to see where the training facility ultimately ends up, with a few different philosophies for it possible: South of town (Franklin or Murfreesboro area), with a stadium field that accommodates a future USL reserve team, somewhere in town with plenty of space, somewhere as close as possible to the stadium (though obviously not that close with space constrictions in that area).

The updated rendering is nice to see, as well.

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