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Discussion in 'Nashville SC' started by DoyleG, Aug 22, 2003.
What is the feelings about having an MLS team there?
Owners of the Nashville Metros are class acts - not only dedicated to the game, but know what they're doing, too.
Nashville, as in the city government, has been openly hostile to soccer. I seriously doubt they're in consideration. But if there is one, it would be a crime to not have Lynn Agee and Devinder Sandhu on board.
Market size It is not a big one. but if it is the Tenn. team, it may work. there are planty of decnt sized communities within driving distance.
problems besides the whole owner thing are the existing teams in the city
what 8 years ago there was no sports competition, now they have football and hockey. Im not saying its forgetable, but there are other cities as large as and as fast growing with more money and less sports competition.
Portland and Sacramento for example.
but if Rochester can work I dont see why noe Nashville.
Sacromento would not work beucse of San Jose being kind of close.
IIRC, the Metros don't have a great deal of fan support which was one of the reasons that they moved out of the A-League.
What kind of stadium do the Metros play in?
If a MLS was to come to Tennessee, I would think that Memphis would be a better choice. There is a soccer park that has a SSS (seats about 5,000) and the county government is friendly to soccer.
Memphis has a PDL team, the Express, which averages about 1,000 per game. They lost to Cape Cod in the semi-finals.
Plus, Memphis is more of a soccer town than Nashville. Ross Paule, Richard Mulrooney, and Jonny Walker are from Memphis.
I don't see MLS expansion coming to either Nashville or Memphis.
I don't think it was lack of support from fans, but from the city.
The Metros actually had three phases (at least in the later years):
1. Origional (?) owner was closely linked with come company that played the sugardaddy, and was the primary sponsor. That company left Tennessee, leaving him high and dry, and the Metros folded, right before the season.
2. Sandhu and Agee stepped, and in a couple of weeks, put together a very competitive team (much better than expected), and revamped the BGA stadium, as Ezell wasn't available. Also renamed the team to the Rhythm, as they didn't have legal access to the Metros name.
3. After a few years, they reclaimed the Metros monicker, and moved back to Ezell. However, the city of Nashville declined to develop the field (they were being blamed for the previous owner's breaking of the lease) to A-League standards, and also refused to grant a waiver so beer could be sold at games (which means no beer sponsorship, which means a huge loss of revenue).
With Ezell not improving the grounds, and the city slashing at the revenue, it was decided that the best thing to do was live within ones means, and go down to PDL.
I wrote about the whole think in 2001 here: http://www.a-league.com/features/2001/fea,2001,0032.shtml
many better candidates out there...
hell, enough to fill a 40 team league IMO....
I'll pass on this city....unless they have the criteria already in place.
I know I wouldn't wanna play in Nashville though
You also forgot about Carey Talley is from Memphis, along with Tim Howards new wife. I actually went to the same school as her. I think there would be a chance for success here. I know this doesn't always translate into success, but youth soccer is very popular here and the Memphis teams tend to be some of the best in the region. We've already got dedicated land and a soccer specific stadium that was build with stadium expansion in mind. Go ahead and count me in for 1 season ticket. We just need about 13,999 more.
What does Tim Howards wife have to do with an MLS team in Nashville?
it just does mate..
Nothing. It has everything to do with an MLS team in Memphis. Consider it a done deal.
As a native Nashvillian, I can't see it ever happening. The city doesn't ever belong in this discussion.
How about the Memphis Blues, or the Nashville FC, the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and my personal favorite, the Knoxville 1791.
But seriously, does anybody think an MLS franchise can survive in Tennessee. Or anywhere in the south for that matter
Have you got an owner?
That's pretty much the only relevant question. If the answer is yes, then we can start asking other questions. If the answer is no, nothing else really matters.
I love the name "Memphis Blues" that really does work.
How about Bud Adams the owner of the Titans in the NFL. Him and Lamar Hunt were pretty good friends when the started the American Football Leauge in 1959. Maybe he'd start a team in remeberance of Lamar.
I agree, Memphis Blues works...too bad a rugby team already has it -
They look like they can be bought off
Memphis is an intriguing option--it's slightly smaller than Columbus, and like Columbus, it has just one other major professional team (and they don't play in the summer). Unlike Columbus, however, it doesn't support that team too well. The Grizzlies are in the bottom half of NBA attendance, while the Blue Jackets are near the top in the NHL. Even though they stink.
I'd be worried, also, b/c soccer is just less popular in the region. I'm not sure they would have the fan support.
Damn rugby teams
How about the Memphis Kings?
They could sing "Rocky Top".
And their colors could be orange and white. Oh wait Houston already has those colors. Well if we're talking Memphis, how about blue and silver, like the University of Memphis. Or how about Three 6 Mafia at Memphis games.
First thing: Andy Mead is right because without a prospective owner with a lot of capital and a plan for a stadium, the point is moot.
I grew up in Tennessee, lived in both Nashville and Memphis. I don't think either market would support an MLS team well enough for an investor to want to get involved right now. I'm still going to go into some detail about the reasons and about what possibility does exist.
Knoxville and Chattanooga: too small.
Memphis MSA population: 1,201,709 (2006 est)
Nashville MSA population: 1,455,097 (2006 est)
Salt Lake City MSA + Ogden MSA 1,565,362 (2006 est)
Columbus OH MSA: 1,725,570 (2006 est)
Clarksville TN is a wild card for Nashville-- the Clarksville MSA (around 250,000 2006 est), which includes the Fort Campbell area and is NOT considered part of the Nashville MSA, has a sophisticated soccer audience. The distance from Clarksville to Nashville is almost identical as the distance from Ogden to Salt Lake, and both are directly connected by interstate highways. Would Clarksville folks make a fairly long drive (45-60 minutes) to go to MLS games?
Youth soccer participation hasn't necessarily shown itself to be correlated with on-field success, but all four of Tennessee's largest cities have good youth participation and a few good clubs. Memphis' eastern suburbs have been the only thing remotely comparable to a hotbed of talent, and that's limited to just a handful of players who could make it to MLS and play: Richard Mulrooney, Jonny Walker, Carey Talley.
The population numbers above are a bit deceptive. The city of Memphis is denser than the "city" of Nashville (the metropolitan entity of Nashville-Davidson County). But Nashville "proper" is forecasted to pass the city of Memphis in population in the next decade. And much of the growth is coming from an influx of young professionals from outside the region, moving into condo towers close to the center of the city. Would those folks be interested enough in MLS to support a team? Maybe, if the stadium is close to downtown-- but then you have to worry that another part of the puzzle, that the suburbanites in soccer-crazy, very wealthy Williamson County, would want to venture into the city.
Immigrant populations: there are a few hundred thousand Mexicans and Central Americans in both places. Many are illegal and are feeling a lot of heat from the police and some parts of the population. (Hell, many LEGAL immigrants are feeling a lot of that heat, they're just not getting burned by it.) Nashville also has smaller but still significant Kurdish and SE Asian populations. Marketing to immigrant groups has largely been a failure so far in MLS.
Another factor is that folks with expendable income in Tennessee are not necessarily going to be anything CLOSE to early adopters. Tennessee is where the league would come when it has been established with success in bigger and more adventurous markets. There's a lot of conservatism-- not necessarily politically, but definitely psychologically-- in those Nashville and Memphis suburbs that will be needed to make a TN MLS team a success. Once it's going, they'll be on the bandwagon, but in either place, even with an ideally located stadium, crowds might be pretty sparse.
That ideal stadium location is another problem. MLS is very unlikely to get a sweetheart deal from Nashville. The Predators and Titans pretty much exhausted the generosity of the citizenry. The Nashville Sounds of the PCL have poisoned the well with an audacious request for upwards of fifty million to build a downtown stadium (on free land). A suburb is more likely, but traffic is such a difficulty that the number of casual fans willing to nagivate the maze of roads will be limited.
My assessment: it's at least a dozen years before anyone should think about putting a team in Nashville or Memphis to see where things are going demographically, culturally, and politically.
It would be cool to have a team there..........plus, if for some reason, timmy howard doesnt work out at everton, he can come back to his hometown in memphis...
I've thought about my hometown, Knoxville, for an MLS city, and here's what I came up with.
Knoxville has a city pop. of 175,000, not big enough you say. Well Knoxville has a metro popululation of 500,000.
The stadium could be built in World's Fair Park on the Performance Field, which is about 100,000 square feet, and they could tear down any buildings to expand it
Knoxville has a fairly large youth soccer population, which would flock to see games.
The University of Tennessee has talked about fielding a men's soccer team in about 5 or 6 years, and this new field could also be the Vol's home pitch.
Knoxville was actually a canadate city to host a few first round games in the 94 World Cup. (Neyland Stadium)
The high schools in Knoxville could use the field for district title matches.
If the tickets are cheap, many people will go to Knoxville games.
There are many attrctions in and around Knoxville to keep visitors busy.
The owner could be the Hasalm's, owners of the Pilot gas stations.
Knoxville is certainly a wonderful place.