men holding up a nashville banner

Bringing Major League Soccer to Nashville


Local leaders and investors retained SRG to execute a comprehensive public affairs strategy that helped Nashville win a 2017 bid to become the official home of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) 24th franchise team. Despite this success, the city still faced a major hurdle: securing a public-private partnership to fund a soccer-specific stadium.

Our Approach

SRG created and executed a holistic government affairs and public relations campaign that combined local and national media engagement, digital advocacy, and grassroots coalition building to generate support for a series of major legislative votes that ultimately determined the fate of Nashville’s new MLS stadium.

In addition to effectively courting both regional and national press to generate positive media coverage and elevate the team’s prospects before local policymakers, SRG mobilized a robust coalition of Tennessee soccer supporters to contact members of the Metro Council in advance of votes, driving calls and emails to key representatives and generating large turnouts at legislative hearings. Nashville soccer fans became a political force during the stadium legislative process, sending thousands of emails encouraging support for the stadium project to Metro Council members.


This grassroots activation continued throughout a lengthy legislative process that required the passage of three pieces of legislation before the Metro Council and a separate Metro Planning Commission vote. Supporter attendance averaged 400 per meeting, with 100 supporters speaking during Metro Planning Commission and Metro Council meetings on behalf of rezoning legislation for the stadium site. In September 2018, the Metro Council overwhelmingly passed the key piece of legislation enabling the stadium.

Nashville SC’s inaugural season in the MLS began in February 2020 in front of the highest-attended soccer event in Tennessee. Since then, Nashville SC has grown an impressive and dedicated fan base. SRG is proud of its ongoing partnership with the club and routinely engages with policymakers on its behalf. In 2023, SRG led the effort to authorize the creation of a Nashville SC license plate, working with legislators to include an amendment to the “Specialty License Plate Omnibus Bill.” That legislation was passed during the 2023 session of the 123rd General Assembly, and citizens were able to pre-order their Nashville SC specialty license plate beginning June 2023. 

The Nashville chapter of the Public Relations Society of America awarded SRG “Best in Show” at the 2018 Parthenon Awards and multiple Awards of Merit at the 2019 Parthenon Awards for our work to bring MLS to Nashville.

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