THE TIMELINE OF MAJOR MOMENTS IN NASHVILLE'S BUILD UP TO MLS
NASHVILLE – Nashville SC’s inaugural Major League Soccer season is just six short months away. It feels like almost yesterday when MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced on stage at the Country Music Hall of Fame that Nashville had been awarded an MLS franchise.
Of course that historic moment was December of 2017, forever altering the Nashville sports landscape. Now as Nashville sits on the precipice of its third major sports franchise, we begin a written series titled MLS 2020. In this series that will lead up to the MLS, we will take a look at different aspects of MLS including the roster, drafts, Nashville SC technical staff and much more.
However, in this first piece we will take a look back at the historic moments leading to the build-up of professional soccer and eventually MLS in the Music City.
July 1, 2016
It seems almost impossible that just three years ago, Nashville didn’t have a professional soccer team. That all changed in 2016 when Nashville, with an ownership group led by David Dill and an effort led by Chris Jones, secured a USL franchise for the city. In a ceremony on July 1, USL Commissioner Jake Edwards awarded then-Nashville mayor Megan Barry the franchise at Bridgestone Arena in front of a crowd of fans.
The most memorable moment from that celebration came when The Roadies marched into Bridgestone, scarves held high, chants ringing loud and drums beating. Despite it just being an awarding of a franchise, before a ball was kicked in a professional match, the Nashville fans were ready for soccer.
September 9, 2016
Just two months after the city as awarded a professional franchise, the club announced the name Nashville Soccer Club and new circular logo that incorporated six guitar strings, record disc symbolism, blue and gold colors and a roman numeral harkening back to the founding of the original iteration of the club in 2013.
December 20, 2017
Highly-attended international friendlies and Gold Cup matches at Nissan Stadium mixed with a ignited soccer fervor in the Music City culminated at the County Music Hall of Fame in Downtown Nashville just five days before Christmas. The early present was delivered by none other than MLS Commissioner Don Garber when he announced to hundreds of Nashville soccer fans in attendance that Nashville would be awarded an MLS franchise.
With an effort led by Nashville SC majority owner John Ingram that included a soccer-specific stadium build at The Fairgrounds, Nashville had its third major sports franchise in the city. The result came from a years-long effort from Ingram and the MLS2Nashville committee which helped orchestrate and secure the franchise.
February 10, 2018
Nashville SC announced that prior to its inaugural USL season, it would play MLS’ Atlanta United in a preseason friendly at First Tennessee Park in Nashville. For the fans, the season would start with a bang, hosting an MLS team on their home turf. It was a chance for the club to introduce fans to professional soccer in a big way.
Even with torrential downpours, over 9,000 fans were in attendance at FTP to welcome the Boys in Gold to Nashville. Fans witnessed the club's first goal, a beauty scored by young forward Ropapa Mensah.
February 20, 2019
More than a thousand fans attended an unveiling/concert thrown by Nashville SC at Marathon Music Works to announce its MLS name, logo and colors. With Commissioner Garber in attendance again, CEO Ian Ayre stepped to the podium and announced that Nashville SC had listened to its supporters. The name would remain the same, while the colors would still be blue and gold, Acoustic Blue and Electric Gold.
The club did unveil a sleek, new crest that incorporated soundwaves into an “N” design in the middle of the crest. With music, sound and energy prevalent in the new crest, it was only fitting that live music would be incorporated into the party. Judah and the Lion, The Weeks and Lindsay Ell all played well into the night for the fans following the presentation.
Nashville SC is now six months away from the MLS regular season in March of 2020. Players have been signed, season tickets are on sale, and renderings of the new MLS stadium, coming in 2022, have been unveiled.
To keep up with all of Nashville SC’s MLS news, join our Fan Club. To learn about MLS Season Ticket Memberships, call a dedicated season ticket representative at (615) 750-8800 and press 1.