The United Soccer League formally welcomed its new Nashville franchise to the league today in a downtown public celebration that included Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and the team’s ownership group. The franchise revealed that the team would be known as Nashville FC and would immediately begin accepting ticket deposits for its inaugural 2018 campaign.
USL President Jake Edwards presented Barry a #7 USL Nashville 2018 jersey signifying her position as the seventh mayor of Metropolitan Nashville and officially awarded the Nashville FC ownership group – LifePoint Health President and COO David Dill, Provider Trust co-founder Chris Redhage, and Marcus Whitney, the founder and president of Jumpstart Foundry – league membership in a festive ceremony at Bridgestone Arena.
“We couldn’t be more excited about the enthusiasm and momentum we are witnessing here in Nashville,” said Alec Papadakis, chief executive officer of the USL. ”We are proud to officially welcome Nashville FC to the USL and even prouder of the commitment we have seen from the ownership group, Mayor Barry, the Nashville City Council and the area’s many soccer supporters.”
The new Nashville FC USL team approached the amateur, supporter-owned club about acquiring the Nashville FC brand after announcing in May they had been awarded a USL franchise. The club’s members voted overwhelmingly to approve the brand purchase in exchange for a 1 percent equity stake in the USL team and a voting seat on its board.
“We have had a remarkable past few weeks since announcing our plans to join the USL,” Dill said. “We are very pleased to have the USL with us today as well as Mayor Barry as we share two significant milestones – our Nashville FC name and ticketing plans – with the Nashville community.”
The Nashville FC crest features the blue and gold colors of the Metro Nashville city seal with the overall shape and formation of the circular “N” along with a small center circle representing a spinning record, paying respect to Nashville’s “Music City” heritage. The fleur-de-lis also comes from the city seal, and the circle band encompassing the logo features a “divide” that represents the numerous Civil War battles that took place in the region.
During today’s event, Nashville FC announced that its ticket deposit plan will include:
- A $25 deposit will entitle purchasers up to four season tickets that will include 18 games.
- The team is also accepting $50 deposits for premium season tickets that will include 18 games.
Deposits are being accepted exclusively on the team’s new website at www.NashvilleFC.com, which immediately becomes a part of the USL Digital Network.
Nashville Predators President and CEO Sean Henry was on hand to promote the growing relationship between the two clubs, and Barry remarked on soccer’s incredible growth in Nashville.
“I just signed into law a budget that includes $6 million for new recreational soccer fields, and now we have a professional soccer team that will bear Nashville’s name,” Barry said. “Soccer’s growth in Nashville reflects our growth as a city and the diverse, vibrant communities that will make us a premier city for soccer in the Southeast.”
Nashville FC will be part of the USL’s national footprint that features a schedule focused on building regional rivalries that for Nashville supporters will include USL teams in St. Louis, Louisville, Charlotte and Cincinnati.
The Nashville FC franchise will make more announcements in the months ahead of its 2018 inaugural season, including updates on facilities, personnel and community outreach.
About The USL: The USL is a vital part of soccer in the United States, on and off the field, and has more than doubled in size since 2014. The USL offers the highest level of competition under MLS on a national footprint with strong local ownership groups in major markets positioned for long-term success.
Currently with 29 teams in 19 American states and three Canadian provinces, the USL is the largest professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, and the world.
The 2016 season marked the introduction of six teams: Bethlehem Steel FC, FC Cincinnati, Orlando City B, Rio Grande Valley FC, San Antonio FC and Swope Park Rangers KC. The league has already confirmed the addition of Reno 1868 FC in 2017.
The USL’s teams are divided into two conferences, Eastern and Western, with each team playing 30 regular-season games. In addition to league play, USL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, as well as various domestic and international exhibitions.
The USL is the longest-standing professional affiliate member of U.S. Soccer. Every game of the 2016 USL season can be seen live, free and in HD on Match Center at www.USLSoccer.com, with updates from across the league also available on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.