Back to court.
Does Major League Soccer have another Miami problem on its hands in Nashville? That is a question that may take a while to answer because the groundbreaking for a Nashville Major League Soccer stadium has been delayed by a lawsuit filed by a group named Save Our Fairgrounds. Flea market vendors don’t want to see a soccer stadium built on the fairgrounds and went to court with a number of points including what the group thinks is a violation of the Nashville City Charter’s prohibition on giving away public land to a private enterprise. Save Our Fairgrounds lost its initial round in court but appealed to the Nashville Board of Appeals which threw the case back to a lower court. Nashville was granted an expansion MLS franchise in 2017 after about a quarter of a billion dollars was found to help build the stadium and the city designated Fairgrounds land to be used to house the venue. The stadium construction was supposed to have begun by June 30,2019. Nashville has not knocked down any buildings where the stadium is scheduled to be located nor has it issued any bonds to pay for stadium construction. The Nashville Soccer Club is scheduled to begin play in 2020 and will use the Tennessee Titans NFL facility until the opening of the stadium at the Fairgrounds.
The MLS has seen expansion pains before in Miami. Major League Soccer granted David Beckham a Miami expansion franchise in 2014 but Beckham’s various ownership groups had difficulty finding a suitable spot for a stadium. It appears Beckham is finally getting a Miami stadium in 2022 and Beckham’s expansion team will finally make its debut in 2020 in Fort Lauderdale spending two seasons in the city north of Miami. The MLS has had trouble with expansion plans and now there is a Nashville problem.