Nashville SC stadium GEODIS Park: History, capacity, debut as largest soccer-specific stadium in USA ready for opening

Nashville SC joined Major League Soccer in 2020, and two years later it has its very own soccer-specific stadium.

With the team playing its first seven games of the season on the road, the long journey has finally come to an end, and the club has a place to call home.

The club had previously been playing at Nissan Stadium, the home of the Tennessee Titans, since its debut in MLS, but the team’s very own soccer-specific venue had been in the works since late 2016. Now, that stadium is finally complete.

On Sunday, May 1, Nashville SC will play its first match at GEODIS Park, the new permanent home of the club on the site of the Nashville Fairgrounds.

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GEODIS Park construction, development, and funding

The proposal for Nashville SC’s new soccer-specific stadium was unveiled in December, 2016 with an expected cost of $ 275 million, which ultimately increased to $ 345 million. The cost would be funded initially by $ 25 million up front from Nashville SC owner John Ingram and a $ 225 million bond issuance from the city, with another $ 40 million in Nashville Fairgrounds renovation.

As part of the deal, Ingram would pay $ 9 million a year for the next 30 years, paying back three-quarters of the bond issuance, but this was eventually amended to a 100% cost assumption by Ingram, plus an additional $ 19 million for infrastructure improvements to the surrounding area.

The stadium project was given 10 acres of the city-owned fairgrounds to build the stadium and surrounding projects, and construction was started in March of 2020 with demolition of the fairgrounds site.

The stadium was designed by Kansas City firm Populous, which had also designed Nashville’s other major venues, including Nissan Stadium.

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What is the GEODIS Park capacity?

GEODIS Park has a listed capacity of 30,000 fans, a marketable improvement over its regular draw of around 15,000 at Nissan Stadium.

That number makes GEODIS Park the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States or Canada, topping Toronto FC’s BMO Field, which seats 28,351.

Still, the club will not be able to touch its own attendance record, which was set in its team debut at Nissan Stadium in front of 59,069 fans.

Largest soccer-specific stadiums in US & Canada

Rankings & capacities via Forbes

Capacity Stadium Team
30,000 GEODIS Park Nashville SC
28,351 BMO Field Toronto FC
27,000 Dignity Health Sports Park LA Galaxy
26,000 TQL Stadium FC Cincinnati
25,500 Exploria Stadium Orlando City
25,000 Red Bull Arena NY Red Bulls
22,039 PNC Stadium Houston Dynamo
22,000 Banc of California Stadium LAFC
20,738 Q2 Stadium Austin FC
20,500 Toyota Stadium FC Dallas

When does GEODIS Park open?

GEODIS Park makes its debut in front of Nashville SC fans on Sunday, May 1 against the Philadelphia Union, with kickoff at 4 pm ET / 3 pm CT.

Nashville has played its first seven matches of the season all on the road to allow the new stadium time to get fully ready for its grand opening. The club sits ninth in the table ahead of the match, with three wins, two draws, and three losses in that long, season-opening road trip.

The club now has six of its next eight league fixtures at home, and will continue to make up those road matches throughout the season, with a total of 17 home games across its remaining 26 fixtures. At the time of its debut, Nashville SC holds the league’s longest home unbeaten streak, sitting at 19 games.

Nashville SC midfielder Anibal Godoy dubbed the stadium “The Castle,” and GM Mike Jacobs said of the debut: “Whether you’ve been here three years or three months, you all came here for May 1. You came here to open a brand new building. ‘”

While the debut is highly anticipated by the league and fans, there are a few hiccups. Parking has become a huge issue, with room for just 5,000 cars, with attendance for the opening expected to reach the 30,000 capacity.

What is the food like at GEODIS Park?

There is a wide range of food offerings at GEODIS Park, from BBQ to chicken sandwiches to burgers to empanadas and more.

Prior to the stadium’s opening, Drake Hills of the Tennessean did a full review of all the stadium food, with overall rave reviews. The empanadas were the biggest hit, while the nachos left a little to be desired.

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