Tennessee: Obstacles overcome, Nashville SC now fighting for fans
source: własne [TS]; author: Tomasz
Having settled court challenges, Nashville SC are now working in full swing not only on construction of the stadium. Another challenge is selling out the stadium before it opens in May of 2022.
Major regional newspaper The Tennesean called this stadium “the largest stadium built for soccer in North America”. To this day Nashville SC are using this claim but for it to be true Mexico would have to not exist. Still, within the US it’s true that no other team built a 30,000-capacity stadium just for soccer. And it wasn’t easy, too, with legal challenges starting back in 2017.
Core issues around construction
The disputes, last of which was was settled in court only in October of last year, concerned the location of the stadium on the grounds of a popular flea market. The vendors were assured that they would receive a new location with an exhibition hall, where they would be able to continue their current business activities.
Surrounding entities, including local speedway, also feared disruptions with a new major venue in the area. With these and other minor problems mitigated, nothing stands in the way of building the new stadium in Nashville. But even so, numerous efforts unseen in most projects are in place to make the process as least non-disruptive as possible. For example, major concrete pours are done at night in order to end by 7am and not impact traffic.
Currently, Nashville SC play their games at Nissan Stadium, which they share with the NFL franchise Tennessee Titans. If all goes according to plan, the new facility should be ready by May 2022, and the construction cost of the 30,000-seater stadium should close to $335 million, which is $85 million more than initially planned.
What has been done in Nashville so far
In the summer, demolition works were completed on the plot designated for the construction of the Nashville MLS Stadium. The summer months were also devoted to stabilizing the ground for the construction of the stadium's foundations. Thanks to this, in October it was possible to start the first screeds of concrete for foundation footings. These elements are designed to transfer and evenly distribute the forces coming from the columns and pillars of the stadium to the load-bearing ground.
Earthworks, which are still continued, involved occasional blasting of ground rocks and activities facilitating the outflow of rainwater. Already at the end of last September, work related to the electrical installation began.
These days ground works are nearing the end, while most of the sunken lower tier is taking its eventual shape. Only the south end has underground floor space, now covered and already topped by the primary structure of the upper tier. First steps of the stands are being laid as we speak. Also in the west the steel frame for upper sections are being mounted. North end, where a safe standing area will be created, is the least advanced.
Will they sell out despite the pandemic?
Construction of a major soccer stadium is a challenge of its own. But now Nashville SC have another one: selling out 30,000 places. Of course, demand was estimated in advance but it might prove challenging to keep momentum around the club despite the public health crisis.
In order to encourage potential fans across the Music City to buy season tickets for 2022, Nashville SC have created an experience centre. Because of COVID-19 it’s available on appointment only but should still be attractive enough to lure fans in.
Interested fans will find a 3D model of the stadium, souvenirs and actual stadium elements, including structural beams for supporters to sign. There’s also a wall of sound with club logo created with loudspeakers, sized exactly as the eventual jumbotron will be.
The experience centre will be open throughout the summer. For those unsure of leaving home, NSC also have a virtual venue available, allowing everyone to check sightlines from the most desired seats.
Author: Tomasz Sobura