Major League Soccer have announced Nashville has been awarded as the newest expansion franchise
Nashville was given a Major League Soccer expansion team on Wednesday, the first of four new clubs to be awarded from the latest round of league expansion launched in January.
MLS will grow to 23 teams with the addition of Los Angeles FC next March and a David Beckham-owned Miami expansion club is expected to receive final approval before the kickoff of the 2018 campaign.
Nashville was among four finalists named earlier this month for two teams to be named by the end of the year, the others being Cincinnati, Detroit and Sacramento.
Home to the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and NHL’s Nashville Predators, Nashville will build a new 27,000-seat stadium for the team.
John Ingram will be the leader of the investment group that owns the Nashville team, set to begin play next year in the second-tier United Soccer League.
His partners include NFL Minnesota Vikings owners Mark, Zygi and Leonard Wulf.
“Nashville is a rising city with a passionate soccer fanbase, a dedicated ownership group and civic leaders that truly believe in this sport,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said.
“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 14th club to join MLS since 2014.
The city has shown the ability to turn out for football matches with a July Gold Cup match between the United States and Panama drawing more than 47,000 and English Premier League rivals Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur drawing 56,232 for a pre-season friendly.
A USA vs Guatemala match in 2015 and a New Zealand vs Mexico encounter last year each drew more than 40,000 in Nashville.
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