Nashville MLS Club’s CEO Ian Ayre Speaks to Media Today

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The United States Men’s National team is in Nashville tonight to face Mexico in the U.S. Soccer’s fall Kickoff Series.

The game will be held at Nissan Stadium and is scheduled for 8:30pm EST on ESPN.

Ahead of tonight’s game, Nashville’s MLS held a luncheon with CEO, Ian Ayre.

There are a lot of questions regarding Nashville SC and the MLS team coming to Nashville in early 2021. We do know, however, that Nashville just got the approval last week to build the soccer stadium on the Fairgrounds.

“Our focus is building something for the city and with the city.” Ayre said.

Nothing is set in stone and it’s still early in a very long process but the city council voted loudly in favor of a deal. As of now it’s believed that the stadium would be paid for mostly by the team and the city would upgrade the fairgrounds along with Metro for future development.

As for tonight’s matchup, Ayre doesn’t think there is much correlation to the number of people in the stands for tonight’s game with the number of people that will support his team in the new stadium; however, Ayre said he still hopes the city rallies around tonight’s game.

“I think it’s important for the 1st fan.” Ayre said. “The fan who is experiencing a soccer game in Nashville for the first time. We want to show them the excitement just like the other professional teams do in Nashville.”

However, Ayre believes that the turnout in fans for tonight’s game cannot be compared to longterm effects with his club or even future World Cup 2026 contingency.

Nashville is a candidate for 2026 World Cup venue. As of right now, not among the clear favorites because of size but is a strong option because of the city’s different appeal.

“I think it would be a fantastic place to host a game for the 2026 World Cup.” Ayre said. “Not just because of the new venue, but because of the city. It would be a perfect way to showcase what Nashville has to offer.”

“We want to create something special for this city.” Ayre said.

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