Should Nashville residents get a vote on the soccer stadium deal?

Aug 20, 2018

 

Credit mls2nashville.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Nashville’s professional soccer stadium construction deal is getting some push back.

Two ordinances are on the Metro Council agenda for Tuesday night that would require the $225 million plan to seek approval from voters. Introduced by council members Tanaka Vercher and John Cooper, the bills call for a referendum on the issue to be added to the city’s November General Election ballot. Councilman Russ Pulley supports the stadium deal. He says the Vercher/Cooper measures would effectively kill Nashville pro soccer.

“Because it would bring the referendum to a November vote, which would effectively kill the timeline necessary for the MLS. I think it’s another strategy to do that.”

WMOT had an appointment to speak with Councilwoman Vercher about the issue, but we weren’t able to reach her. However, in the proposed legislation she and Councilman Cooper outline their objections to the plan. They note the original plan has been changed to include a land lease. They also contend the plan increases the city debt, and uses money that would have paid promised raises to city employees.But Councilman Cooper says the stadium is still a good deal and he won’t support the Veercher/Cooper referendum initiative.

“Essentially we’re floating $225 million on a stadium that we will own and that somebody else is gonna pay for. That’s a pretty good deal in my opinion.”

Assuming the referendum proposal fails, the Metro Council will begin consideration of the stadium deal Tuesday night. What's likely to be a raucus public hearing on the plan will be held later this month. A final vote is scheduled for September 4.