MLS plans expansion team in Nashville; announcement tomorrow


MLS 2 Nashville, a community organized group which has long lobbied for a Major League Soccer team in Nashville, has announced a press conference to be held Wednesday at the County Music Hall of Fame.

The Tennessean reports an announcement from MLS is expected Wednesday in Nashville.

Speakers will include John R. Ingram, the chairman of Ingram Industries and of Nashville Soccer Holdings, LLC.; Don Garber, the commissioner of Major League Soccer; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, and Governor Bill Haslam.

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The Nashville metro council last month voted to commit to bond funding for a new $275 million stadium. However, that plan changed when the Detroit Lions' owners, the Ford family, got involved and presented an alternative plan that would see a Detroit MLS team share Ford Field with the Lions. The new teams will not begin play until 2020. Seeking an even number, MLS is likely to have one newcomer start in 2019 and two in 2020.

It appears that Sacramento's biggest competition is Cincinnati and their record-setting attendance numbers.

MLS asked 12 cities to submit their bids for an MLS franchise in January and since then they've evaluated all 12, named four finalists (Nashville, Sacramento, Cincinnati and Detroit) and they've said they'll name two cities who have won the expansion franchises in this round. Nashville has drawn large crowds for global matches but has nearly no soccer history. So far, Nashville is the only city with a scheduled visit by MLS officials.