MLS Bid For Nashville Slowly Gaining Momentum

Holden Carter, Sports Editor

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The idea of a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion club coming to Nashville was brought up over a year ago and it is slowing gaining momentum. MLS has grown to 22 teams including franchises in secondary pro sports markets such as Portland Oregon, Orlando, Kansas City, and Salt Lake City, most of which did not have a rich soccer tradition prior to the arrival of the MLS.

Nashville didn’t start off as a front runner for a new expansion franchise, but have moved up after strong bids and problems with other location ideas. Football is obviously the most followed sport in the south including in Nashville. Hockey, which is not traditionally beloved by people living in the South East, has gained a huge amount of support as seen in the Nashville Predators Stanley Cup Playoff run. Could Nashville give that same amount of support to a soccer franchise?

Recent soccer games played at Nissan Stadium garnered a great amount of support including a United States Men’s National Team match against Panama that had an attendance of almost 50 thousand and a friendly match between the Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City that broke the attendance record for a soccer match in Nashville with ticket sales passing the 50 thousand mark.

A professional soccer team, Nashville Soccer Club, playing in the United Soccer League, will begin play in 2018. The franchise will be just under the skill level of MLS and players will be fed into a MLS franchise. Support for this team can help in the expansion effort for Nashville to be granted a MLS franchise.

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