Economics professor explains MLS stadium proposal’s risks, rewards for Nashville neighbors

(Metro Nashville/Fox 17 News){ }

Nashville is one step closer to having a Major League Soccer Stadium built at the Fairgrounds Nashville with a Tuesday vote.

Mayor Megan Barry’s said the proposed stadium would cost $250 million dollars and would be paid for by private dollars and money generated at the stadium.

On Tuesday, the fairgrounds voted unanimously to approve the Metro Sports Authority’s proposal to have access to 10 acres.

Mayor Megan Barry and MLS2Nashville committee organizers said operations at the stadium, starting in 2021, would bring nearly 2,000 jobs and $77.7 million in income for workers and business owners.

The Metro Sports Authority will vote Thursday on a resolution that would be the first step in issuing bonds for the stadium “if certain conditions are met.” The first condition is Nashville being awarded the soccer team. Once the Metro Sports Authority approves the resolution, it would then go on to Metro Council. A final vote is slated for next week, but its expected to be deferred.

Dr. Patrick Raines, dean of the Jack C. Massey College of Business and economics professor at Belmont University, broke down the cost benefit for taxpayers.

Raines said the land at the fairgrounds is worth a million dollars an acre.

“I think the city has done a good job of minimizing the downside risk for taxpayers in the city,” Raines said.

“The total amount of revenue that needs to be generated on an annual basis is $13 million dollars,” Raines said. “The owners group will pay nine [million] of that and the other four [million] will come from revenue generated from fans.”

Raines said the risks lies in having a very poor team.

“In that case to have a losing franchise where fans didn’t come out, didn’t spend the money,” Raines said. “If the revenues don’t come in, then it’s hard to pay those revenue bonds and the interest in those bonds and the city would be liable for that at that point.”

Right now, Raines said this soccer…

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