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Nashville mayor to propose building soccer stadium - report

Nashville mayor Megan Barry will propose building a soccer stadium to help boost the city's bid to secure an MLS expansion franchise.

The plans will be formally announced on Monday.

The proposal, first reported by the Tennessean, does not yet have a price tag, and it remains unclear if the city's current soccer team -- the United Soccer League's Nashville Soccer Club -- will play its home games at the stadium.

The mayor has selected the Nashville fairgrounds as the desired location. And the paper reports that the preliminary proposal would also bring upgrades to outdated fairgrounds facilities, such as the speedway.

"Ultimately, a soccer facility will be needed in order to attract an MLS team here to Nashville," Mayor Barry said in a statement. "I believe a private-public partnership, with an emphasis on the 'private' part of the equation, will be needed in order to accomplish this goal, and I am convinced that the best and only site for this to happen would be at The Fairgrounds Nashville.

"This will not come at the expense of any existing activities at the fairgrounds, such as racing, the flea market or the fair, but will be in addition to all the great things that are happening there now."

The Nashville MLS Steering Committee, a consortium of political and business leaders headed by John R. Ingram that has pushed for a pro soccer team in Music City, is leading the charge to meet a Jan. 31 deadline to make the city's bid to claim one of the four proposed vacancies in MLS in August.

Nashville has been announced as one of 14 host venues for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

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