When you are driving around Nashville there is one thing that sticks out more than anything else. Look in every direction and tell me what it has in common. You’ll see cranes and places under construction all around the city on both sides of every interstate.
Why is there all this construction? Simple. People are flooding to Nashville, this is the ‘hot’ town for young people to start their career and to move or bring new business’s. Among the fastest growing cities in the country, Nashville is ranked 20th by Forbes on its 2015 list. According to Business Insider, which says Nashville is the 10th hottest city of 2015, it is the second most popular city for young recent college graduates.
Just two weekends ago Nashville hosted the United States Men’s National Team in a soccer-friendly against Guatemala at Nissan Stadium. The announced crowd was 44,835, which broke the Tennessee state record for a soccer match. I repeat 44,835 people showed up for a SOCCER-FRIENDLY. During the same weekend, Nashville hosted the largest fireworks show in the country. Why were there so many people at a soccer match that was just a friendly and why did the city successfully host such a big fireworks show? Because people care about their sports teams here and people want to visit Nashville for big events!
Currently the City host’s two major sports teams, in the NFL the Tennessee Titans and in the NHL the Nashville Predators.
Fun Fact: Nashville and Buffalo are the only two cities with an NFL and NHL team, but no other professional sports team.
With all of these people moving to Nashville and with even more corporate opportunities moving here, isn’t it time that Nashville has the chance to expand and become the new home to a Major League Baseball or NBA team? YES.
It’s time for it and the city deserves it. The real question is will the city do what it takes to go after a team? This is much tougher to answer and will take a lot of work, but they should throw everything they have in the ring and go for it.
It’s the perfect time. With everyone moving here, you have the chance to grow a large fan base that would only continue to grow for years to come. The younger crowd comes from an environment where they are going to sporting events all year and have a variety of social outing options. Nashville offers a similar environment if and if you add an NBA team here and they play in Bridgestone with all of the bars right outside, it would be a gold mine.
Nashville is also a tourist hot bed for people coming to see some of the country’s greatest music stars and of course, for a night out on the town. With another professional franchise like baseball not only would more tourist come, but the ones that already do would take in a game while visiting.
As for the reality of the MLB or NBA wanting to expand or allowing a team to come to Nashville that’s a much tougher task, but also another thing that both leagues need to do.
The NBA is more primed for expansion or re-alignment than the MLB however. They are making more money than ever and ratings continue to skyrocket. The NBA could do a couple of things; they could move a team that has low attendance numbers such as Minnesota or Milwaukee. Another option could be to take a state that has multiple teams and move them, such as California. The Sacramento Kings would be the perfect example as they have to compete with the two LA teams and the Warriors.
The smartest option would be an expansion. The NBA has a problem right now and it’s that the Western Conference is so much better than the Eastern conference. It would be smart for the NBA to move the Memphis Grizzlies to the Eastern Conference because they don’t belong in the west anyways. Then the NBA could add another team to the West or start another new team in another western city. Then place Nashville team in the same Eastern Conference Division as Memphis. This would help balance the conferences and two create a rivalry between Memphis and Nashville in a professional sport, which is lacking. Those who live in these cities know that this would be an automatic sell out every match up.
While this would be all fun and perfect in a fantasy world, it is highly unlikely to happen. There are too many politics in the way and both the MLB and NBA would consider this to be way too much work right now. In 20 years they will be begging to put a team in a city like Nashville, but it will take some time for the big heads to realize that going back to Montreal or Seattle is a terrible idea.