Nashville SC Still Trying To Sway Final Approvals For Stadium Project
Nashville Mayor John Cooper and MLS expansion club Nashville SC Owner John Ingram met last week to "tour Fairgrounds Nashville and discuss the hurdles surrounding the much-debated" soccer stadium project at the site, according to Yihyun Jeong of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. The development has "stalled as Cooper holds off on signing paperwork to green light demolition of the old expo centers, a needed step to make way for the stadium." Cooper has said that questions remain on "how much taxpayers will be asked to spend for infrastructure costs surrounding the stadium." However, Cooper "does not oppose the stadium project and is 'certainly supportive' of soccer" in the city. The Nashville Metro Council has approved $50M in "general obligations bonds to fund the infrastructure improvements around the site related to the stadium." But city officials said that most of the funding already has been "spent as part of the ongoing overall fairgrounds improvement project." While on the Metro Council before becoming mayor, Cooper was "one of the loudest critics of the MLS stadium proposal." He has said that his "fundamental issue with the MLS stadium was that he believed it was 'in the wrong place,'" and instead "should have been in the downtown area" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 12/11).