By Ben Wright, editor.
"As you may have seen in many of our channels, we have been working tirelessly on the stadium front following the agreement reached with Mayor Cooper, to move forward with the construction of our future home at the Fairgrounds Nashville. Following the news in mid-February, demolition began on March 16 and is progressing steadily and in a timely fashion. As the work continues onsite, I’m excited to share that we have also completed our construction documents, which is a key milestone in the design phase and overall process.
Given the size, scope and challenges in building what will be the largest soccer specific stadium in the U.S., and without certainty of how COVID-19 will continue to impact our lives, our stadium project team has tentatively identified a substantial completion date of mid-May 2022. The group is currently reaching out to suppliers and contractors, and construction will commence after demolition wraps up.
It is impossible to predict the actual date with any level of certainty in the current environment, but we will continue to monitor gains or losses on timing and keep everyone informed as we progress. We remain excited about the 2022 season in our new home and fully committed to bringing the 2020 MLS season back to Nashville and all our fans as soon as possible."
The stadium was originally set to open early in the 2021 season, but legal hurdles involving the Save Our Fairgrounds lawsuit delayed construction, and NSC announced last March that the opening would be delayed until 2022, allowing the club to play the entire 2022 season in the new venue.
As soon as things appeared to be on track, COVID-19 put the world on hold, and with the immediate future of sports up in the air, Nashville SC has estimated a completion date of May 2022.
As Ayre stated in his letter, this date could change. It could be the club being overly cautious and underprommising in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It could also be optimistic if social distancing is required for an extended period of time.
The stadium is set to have a capacity of 30,000, making it the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States. Major League Soccer's 2020 season has been suspended since March 12, with clubs tentatively set to return to training on April 25th, although that date has already been pushed back three times. The league cited May 10 as their targeted return date back in March, but with the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country, a return to play still feels very much up in the air.
Cover photo courtesy Nashville SC