Nashville SC Loses Stadium Hearing
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
Nashville, TN (CU) - A contract approved for construction of Nashville's MLS stadium has been ruled invalid because the Metro Sports Authority violated Tennessee Open Meetings Act. The public feedback seemed evenly divided during the debate for an MLS stadium. Now the debate will resume with the city’s economic future looking very different and a new 34% property tax increase on the horizon.
According to court documents, the Sports Authority provided only 48 hours notice prior to a special meeting to approve a $192 million contract for construction of the stadium.
"The evidence is clear: Metro's delayed 48-hour notice of an irregularly scheduled meeting of the Sports Authority to approve a matter of significant public importance of the $192 million construction contract on the MLS stadium to be located on iconic Fairgrounds property, when there was no immediate urgency or emergency for such short notice, was inadequate notice to the public. These actions violate the requirement of the Open Meetings Act that 'adequate public notice' must be given," wrote Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle in the order.
The Sports Authority approved the contract with M.A. Mortenson Company/Messer Construction Company on Nov. 1, 2018. In accordance with the ruling, the contract is now void and of no effect.
The ruling is another misstep by new Nashville Mayor John Cooper. The agreement with Nashville Soccer Club owner John Ingram was reached last year and the team would bear the brunt of the costs for building the stadium. The primary issue then becomes a potential relocation of the stadium that will shift a portion of the burden to tax payer funds.
The Metro Sports Authority will have to reschedule a meeting, provide adequate public notice and conduct another vote on whether to approve the contract.
It is not known how this affects the ongoing construction on the stadium at The Fairgrounds Nashville.
Eric Fisher, CU