Vanderbilt football fan might want to become MLS soccer fans, at least for the time being.
Fans hopeful the Commodores will soon receive a new football home should be hoping Nashville is chosen for MLS expansion, as the two goals could be a package deal.
This connection was outlined in a report Wednesday by Joey Garrison of the Tennessean newspaper using John Ingram’s influence as the impetus for speculation.
Ingram, one of the most influential businessmen in Nashville and a major donor for Vandy athletics, has taken the wheel of the Nashville soccer bid, which is one of 10 finalists for four new teams.
Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams has said he wants to accelerate the timeline on a new football stadium, and that he’s open to partnerships with the proposed new MLS franchise.
“I don’t speak for Vanderbilt,” Ingram said when asked about a potential shared stadium between Vanderbilt and a future MLS team. “Whether this will present an opportunity for the university, they may want to think about it. There could be a role for other institutions — like Vanderbilt — to participate in developing and using a multiuse project to serve the Nashville community.”
According to the report, Ingram was instrumental in bringing men’s basketball coach Bryce Drew to Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt Stadium opened in 1922.