Nashville SC hired Court Jeske, who previously served as SUM's vice president of international business, as its first president and Gary Smith, who led the Colorado Rapids to the MLS Cup 2010 title, as its first head coach.
“Our effort to bring Major League Soccer to Nashville and the mission of DMD Soccer are now jointly committed to elevate and expand professional soccer in Music City,” Ingram said. “We plan to give Nashville SC fans an exceptional soccer experience, starting with this season’s debut of the Nashville SC U23 amateur team, which will lead to a successful debut in the USL as we continue to grow the game in Nashville at every level.”
Nashville's other lead bidder is Bill Hagerty, Tennessee's former commissioner of economic development and President Donald Trump's nominee to be the U.S. ambassador to Japan, succeeding Caroline Kennedy.
Like most bidders, Nashville must still solidify a stadium plan to have any chance of convincing MLS to bring a team to its community.
Mayor Megan Barry favors the construction of a soccer stadium (cost: $110 million) at the Fairgrounds Nashville as part of other work on facilities at the speedway, located south of downtown Nashville. Vanderbilt University has been surveying fans whether they would watch its football team at a soccer stadium.
The first hurdle in the effort to bring MLS to Nashville was passed when the Tennessee's House of Representatives agreed (87-2) to a ticket tax. The bill would allow taxes collected at the soccer stadium be used by the Metro Sports Authority to offset the cost of the stadium. (Both NFL Titans and NHL Predators use ticket taxes to generate funds to pay for venue costs.)
No agreement on a "private-public partnership" Barry favors to pay for the construction of the stadium has been announced.
Nashville will get two shots at showing off local interest in July. The USA will open play at the Gold Cup against Panama as part of a doubleheader on July 8 at Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL Titans. Three weeks later, Tottenham and Manchester City will meet their in the International Champions Cup.