Nashville SC and Major League Soccer issued a strongly-worded rebuke to Nashville Mayor John Cooper for not following through on his previous support to build a new stadium within the city limits.
The joint statement came Thursday after MLS Commissioner Don Garber and club representatives met with Cooper in New York City earlier in the day to discuss moving forward with an established plan for demolition and stadium construction at the city’s fairgrounds.
Nashville SC, which kicks off its inaugural season Feb. 29 against Atlanta United at the multipurpose, 69,000-capacity Nissan Stadium, said in the statement it has proposed “a number of new solutions” to satisfy Cooper’s concerns over the last four months.
“During today’s meeting, MLS Commissioner Don Garber made it clear to Mayor Cooper that Major League Soccer would not have awarded Nashville an expansion team without the commitment made by the city to build a soccer stadium at the Fairgrounds,” the statement read. “The Mayor’s continued refusal to proceed is a deep disappointment to Nashville SC and MLS.
“The new stadium and ancillary development have very broad support throughout Nashville and has been overwhelmingly approved multiple times by Metro Council.”
Nashville’s Metro Council approved the $250 million soccer stadium project in 2017, though Cooper has stalled on signing documents to start the project since October, according to the Tennessean.
Nashville SC and MLS added they will continue discussions with Cooper’s office over the next week and expect an update regarding the project by Feb. 6.