ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman joined ESPN 102.5 The Game’s Braden and Fitz Tuesday morning to discuss Major League Soccer’s future in Nashville.
The Metro Council will vote Tuesday night on the Nashville MLS ownership group’s stadium proposal to bring a MLS team to Music City.The Budget and Finance committee voted 10-3 Monday night in favor of the stadium plan. Passing the first vote could be a predictor of what’s to come Tuesday night regarding the future of soccer in Nashville.
Constructing a stadium dedicated to soccer will be a key factor when obtaining the MLS vote. Twellman described building a soccer facility as, “the most important question right now.”
Rather than sharing a football stadium with a soccer team – which cities like Detroit are proposing – building soccer facilities influences gameplay and fan experience positively. Twellman praised Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta because it was built with soccer in mind even though the Falcons call it home.
“A soccer specific stadium is a must and this is why Nashville has to have it, when you go to a game in a soccer specific stadium there is no other thought.” Twellman emphasized, “When you’re coming in to a league that’s on its verge of really exploding, Nashville is on the national stage if they have their soccer specific stadium.”
As Nashville’s population booms, more soccer fans are moving to the Mid-State. Twellman noted how the American sports fan’s mindset increasingly wants constant action during a game.
“I think the consumer wants a sporting event where the ball is in play the entire time,” Twellman said, “The younger sports fan wants something that’s quick, that’s immediate, and that is quote-on-quote an event. Around the world it’s very similar to our college football but it’s not a four hour game, it’s a two hour game and you move on.”
The Metro Council votes Tuesday night on the stadium proposal, then the MLS will decide which cities receive an expansion franchise in December.
To hear the full interview with soccer analyst Taylor Twellman check out ESPN 102.5 The Game’s SoundCloud page below.