Dec 7, 2021 - Sports

Nashville SC business booms

Hany Mukhtar, right, of the Nashville SC during a 2020 game in Nissan Stadium kicking the ball.
Hany Mukhtar, right, of the Nashville SC during a 2020 game in Nissan Stadium. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Nashville SC matched its surprising on-field success this year with a business-side hat trick by its front office.

  • The club ranked in the top third among 27 Major League Soccer teams in home attendance, beat projections for season ticket sales, and is ahead of schedule on construction of its new fairgrounds stadium.

Why it matters: The Nashville SC ownership group took a financial risk in bringing MLS to Music City in 2020, and the new franchise came with understandable skepticism.

  • While Nashville became the first MLS expansion team to reach the playoff semifinals in each of its first two seasons, the front office was quietly delivering off the field.

By the numbers: The club finished with an average home attendance of 21,200, highlighted by 26,913 fans on Nov. 7.

  • "Our season ticket number is very much a day-to-day moving target, but most recently we pushed through 18,000 season tickets sold," CEO Ian Ayre tells Axios.

What's next: Perhaps most importantly, the $335 million fairgrounds stadium is on track to open in time for the 2022 season.

  • Construction of the surrounding mixed-use development will begin in January, Ayre says.

What he's saying: "Pretty much every metric at our club is growing month to month and projected to grow further in 2022 when we are able to capitalize on greater revenues operating in our own venue," Ayre says.

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