Major league soccer is coming to the Music City

(l-r) Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; John Ingram, CEO Nashville Soccer Holdings, LLC; Don Garber, MLS Commissioner, and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. (photo by Marcus Jones)

(l-r) Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; John Ingram, CEO Nashville Soccer Holdings, LLC; Don Garber, MLS Commissioner, and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. (photo by Marcus Jones)

On Wednesday, Major League Soccer (MLS) made a special announcement that an expansion franchise has been awarded to Nashville, with play expected in 2020.

Fronted by local billionaire John Ingram and supported by the Wilf brothers, who won the Minnesota Vikings, Nashville plans to build a brand new 27,500 seat stadium at the fairgrounds.

Nashville was named the league’s 24th franchise by MLS Commissioner Don Garber during a news conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Nashville is a rising city with a passionate soccer fan base, a dedicated ownership group and civic leaders that truly believe in this sport,” said Garber in a statement.“Nashville continues its ascent as one of America’s most dynamic communities, with its incredible energy and creativity. For us, that makes it a perfect place for MLS expansion.”

Nashville will be the third MLS team in the Southeast, following the recent additions of Orlando City SC (2015) and Atlanta United FC (2017) to the league.