Nashville officials say they're ready to unveil their plans to help pay for a city-owned soccer stadium. The dedicated coliseum is seen as a requirement to land a Major League Soccer expansion team.
Mayor Megan Barry has supported the bid for a major league team and putting a field at the state fairgrounds. But financing has been the big unanswered question. And Barry has been adamant that the city won't cover the whole cost with tax dollars.
"Make no mistake though, when I talk about this in the form of what we have to do, it's about a private-public partnership — emphasis on the word private," she told the Downtown Rotary Club in January. "Because we have a lot of things to pay for — so the private sector is going to have to show up for this."
There has been private money in all of Nashville's recent pro stadiums. But both hockey and football have resulted in some kind of tax increase.
It's still unclear what it would cost to build the proposed 30,000-seat soccer venue, but it will likely be as much or more than Nissan Stadium or Bridgestone Arena — in the hundreds of millions.
The MLS2Nashville organizing committee, led by businessman John Ingram, is scheduled to present the funding details to the Metro Council in a special meeting Monday afternoon. The Libertarian Beacon Center is already calling for the Council to have a voter referendum if the proposal includes any tax money.
"The Beacon Center is against the city of Nashville forcing taxpayers to fund a private soccer stadium," spokesman Mark Cunningham says in a statement. "However, we think that the residents of the city should be the ones to make the decision on whether their money should be spent on any professional sports stadium."