For the many soccer enthusiasts in Nashville who long to cheer for a hometown team - the wait is over.
The United Soccer League announced that it has awarded a franchise to an ownership group led by Nashville businessmen David Dill, Marcus Whitney and Christopher Redhage.
The Nashville FC will begin play in 2018.
“We are very proud and excited to welcome Nashville to the USL and look forward to a very rewarding partnership with the entire DMD Soccer team,” said Alec Papadakis, chief executive officer of the USL.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to bring professional soccer to Nashville, and I am excited to partner with the USL and our ownership group to make this vision a reality,” Dill said.
“We knew Nashville was ready for professional soccer, and Nashvillians have responded in ways we couldn’t have imagined,” said Chris Redhage.
“We still have a lot of steps on this journey between now and our first match in 2018, but we’re off to a running start,” he added.
Redhage said the team is looking to find the right location to build a private/publicly funded stadium that will house 10-13,000 fans.
Right now, the team is putting together a front office team, which will include new general manager Chris Jones.
From there, Redhage said the team will hire a coaching staff and begin to look at players.
“The USL is the best second division league in the world,” Redhage said.
“We will be looking for players with MLS aspirations and build the best USL club we can,” he said.
When the team’s first season begins in March 2018, they will play between 32 and 36 games, including 18 home games.
The city is already looking forward to start as fans begin to sign up for season tickets.
Fans can reserve up to four general admission tickets for $25, or up to four premium tickets as part of “The First 1779” Club for $50. Both packages include the opportunity to purchase discounted season tickets, priority seat selection, access to team meet-and-greets, and team store discounts.
“The First 1779” Club – open to the first 1,779 people who place a $50 deposit – also will receive a member scarf, access to premium seating, and exclusive access to additional events, content and merchandise.
“The First 1779” Club is named for the year Nashville was founded, and will be offered only once in the club’s existence.
“We’re encouraging people to be a part of soccer history in Nashville through ‘The First 1779’ Club,” said Marcus Whitney, DMD Soccer co-owner. “Identifying as a member of The First 1779 will be a point of pride for Nashville FC supporters for years to come,” Whitney added.
“The energy around soccer in Nashville is the same energy that makes this a great place to live and work,” Whitney said.
“The team and I are ready to work with the soccer community, city leaders and additional investors in the months ahead as our USL franchise becomes Nashville’s next great success story,” he added.
Nashville FC Brings Pro Soccer to Town