Soccer and the Fairgrounds

With the discussion about the soccer stadium and the improvements at the Fairgrounds so important right now, I wanted to put some of the information on the proposal all in one place. Below is some of the basic information, with links to more detailed documents.

Current Uses at the Fairgrounds:

  • All current uses (racing at the racetrack, flea market, fair) will continue as required by Metro Charter
  • Improved (and even many new) facilities for current uses
  • New infrastructure to support current uses
  • Dedicated funding to improve the Fairgrounds from 50% of property taxes generated yearly from development on ten acres
  • $12 million has already been appropriated for upgrades at the Fairgrounds
  • $3 million has been appropriated for soccer fields and other green space at the Fairgrounds
Click to See Proposed Layout of Fairgrounds
Stadium Financing:
  • $225 million in Metro revenue bonds paid back by tax revenue (ticket and sales taxes)
  • generated by stadium and from lease payments from the team
  • $25 million in payment from team for stadium costs
  • $25 million in Metro general obligation bonds for stadium infrastructure
  • $25 million in Metro general obligation bonds to improve Fairgrounds for all existing activities
  • Team ownership is responsible for construction cost overruns
  • Team ownership cover debt service less reduction from tax revenue generated by stadium (ticket and sales taxes)
  • If ticket and sales taxes revenues are below $4 million for first five years of operation, or below $3 million in years 6-10, Metro will contribute the difference from non-tax revenues
  • Team operates and manages stadium
  • Team ownership responsible for stadium maintenance
  • Metro responsible for major capital expenditures
  • Portion of ticket tax revenue will be designated for major capital expenditures

Ten Acres:

  • Leased for mixed-use development from Metro to ownership group for $200,000 per year increasing 5% every ten years after the 30th year.
  • Lease payments would be offset by parking revenues paid to Fairgrounds from non-soccer Events at the stadium
  • Development will have a project cost of not less than $150,000,000
  • 50% of property taxes generated yearly from development goes to improve the Fairgrounds
  • Land must be rezoned for the mixed-use development
  • Updated appraisal for the ten-acres if rezoned is $20.7 million

Flea Market/Expo:

  • Existing Parking (counted April 2014)
    • 4,636 total number of spaces
      • 4,089 existing available parking
      • 547 within floodway and buffers
  • Fairground Improvement Plan Parking
    • 4,994 total number of spaces (7.7% more than current)
    • +358 above existing number of parking spaces
      • 1,439 temporary parking
      • 1,589 permanent parking
      • 1,216 event parking
      • 500 mixed use shared parking
      • 250 on-street parking and rideshare
  • Existing expo/event space (flea market, etc.)
    • 434,646 square feet (9.98 acres) total
      • 120,919 square feet (2.78 acres) air-conditioned space
      • 108,124 square feet (2.48 acres) covered outdoor space
      • 205,603 square feet (4.72 acres) uncovered exhibit space
  • Proposed expo/event space (flea market, etc)
    • 487,665 square feet (11.20 acres) total (12.2% more than current)
      • 132,491 square feet (3.04 acres) air conditioned space (9.57% more than current)
      • 100,348 square feet (2.30 acres) covered outdoor space (7.2% less than current)
      • 254,826 square feet (5.85 acres) uncovered exhibit space (23.94% more than current)

Community Benefits Agreement:
A community benefits agreement has been agreed to between the team ownership and Stand Up Nashville. The entire agreement can found here. As of August 27, the agreement included:

  • Housing
    • 12% affordable housing (0-60)
    • 8% workforce housing (4% 61-80 and 4% 81-120)
    • Rents of both affordable and workforce housing to be 30% or less of indexed household income
    • 20% of affordable housing units will be 3 bedroom and subject to funding up programs
    • Up to 20% of workforce housing will be 3 bedrooms
  • Childcare Facility
    • 4000 square feet within or close to the ten-acre development for childcare location
    • Tuition to income an income-based sliding scale
    • Team ownership to provide initial seed funding for the facility
  • Incubator for artisans and small business owners
    • 4,000 square feet of retail space reserved to establish a micro-unit incubator for the use of artisans and small business merchants who are verified Promise Zone residents at below market rates
  • Foster Youth Soccer
    • Team ownership will donate new or used equipment and accessories to Metro schools
    • Host annual coaching clinic for coaches from Metro schools and other youth soccer organizations with Metro area
    • Free tickets to MLS matches
    • Other youth and community soccer oriented programs
  • $15.50 an hour
    • Team ownership will directly hire employees for stadium operations such as guest services, janitorial, field maintenance and other areas. All employees will be paid at least $15.50 an hour
  • Referral program
    • Team ownership and Stand Up Nashville to work together to establish a first-source referral program
    • Team ownership to provide funding for a program coordinator who will work with Nashville’s Promise Subzone Captains to recruit and refer Promise Zone residents and to provide supportive services
  • Hiring local residents
    • Team ownership will hire qualified local residents at all levels of the organizations and will provide educational and professional development opportunities
  • Minority businesses and construction managers
    • Team ownership will ensure ten-acre development providers opportunities for local minority businesses and construction managers who demonstrate strong safety practices as well as utilizing DOL certified apprenticeship programs and hiring Promise Zone residents

Legislative Package:

  • Resolution RS2018-1328
    • Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $50 million.
      • $25 million would be authorized for purposes of providing improvements, demolition, and/or acquisition of fairgrounds buildings and facilities.
      • $25 million would be authorized for purposes of providing infrastructure related to the proposed MLS stadium.
    • Legal analysis
  • Ordinance BL2018-1289
    • Approves the demolition of the buildings and structures necessary for the construction the soccer stadium at the Fairgrounds
    • Amends the Metropolitan Code of Laws to impose a privilege tax on the sale of tickets to events at the soccer Stadium.
    • Must be approved by 27 votes of the Metro Council per the Metro Charter
    • Legal analysis
  • Ordinance BL2018-1290
    • Rezones the ten acre development to allow for mixed used development
    • Site plan filed with the ordinance
  • Ordinance BL2018-1291
    • Declares a portion of the Fairgrounds surplus and approves the ground lease between the Fair Board and team ownership
    • Legal analysis

Metro Charter:
Section 11.602.d.
All activities being conducted on the premises of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds as of December 31, 2010, including, but not limited to, the Tennessee State Fair, Expo Center Events, Flea Markets, and Auto Racing, shall be continued on the same site. No demolition of the premises shall be allowed to occur without approval by ordinance receiving 27 votes by the Metropolitan Council or amendment to the Metropolitan Charter.