Vanderbilt Will Not Join Shared-Stadium Project With Nashville's MLS Expansion Bid Team
Vanderbilt yesterday announced that it "won’t join in on a proposed shared-stadium concept" with MLS in Nashville -- a "much-debated scenario that would have moved the home of Commodores football off campus to The Fairgrounds Nashville," according to Joey Garrison of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. But Vanderbilt is "still looking at using the potential stadium for one or two football games a year if it is built." The university said that it plans to "remain at Dudley Field, the school's longtime home for football." The proposed soccer stadium at the fairgrounds is "part of Nashville's bid for an MLS expansion team." Vanderbilt's decision is "not expected to hurt Nashville's chances of landing an MLS club." The league "only cares that a stadium plan is secured." Vanderbilt’s announcement comes before Nashville’s MLS ownership group -- led by Vanderbilt donor John Ingram -- and Mayor Megan Barry’s administration are "expected to unveil a funding proposal for an MLS stadium" perhaps as early as next week. Although the potential MLS stadium would "not be Vanderbilt's permanent home for football, the school says it is in discussions about possibly leasing the facility for occasional events, perhaps even football games." The prospect of Vanderbilt sharing the proposed MLS stadium "presented the possibility of an additional funding stream to help pay for the project" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 9/28). NBCSPORTS.com's Kevin McGuire noted the group would "probably feel more confident about their chances if Vanderbilt jumped all in on the project, but that does not appear to be the case at this time" (NBCSPORTS.com, 9/27).
RALLYING POINT: In Cincinnati, Patrick Brennan notes USL club FC Cincinnati's push for a public-private partnership to "erect a soccer-specific venue as part" of its MLS expansion bid "returned to the public sphere Tuesday in raucous fashion." FC Cincinnati President & GM Jeff Berding and fans "chanted and paraded and banged big drums en route to a Hamilton County Commissioner's meeting in Norwood on 'big box' capital projects." They "crowded the meeting space upon arrival and spoke in favor of a public-private partnership to complete funding" for a proposed $200M FC Cincinnati soccer-specific venue that "satisfies requirements of the MLS expansion process." The commissioners "simply held the meeting to hear input on about a dozen projects" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/28).