Nashville SC stadium GEODIS Park: History, capacity, debut as largest soccer-specific stadium in USA is open for MLS play

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

After playing their first seven games of the season away from home, the long journey has finally come to an end and the club has found a home.

The club have played at Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans, since their debut in MLS, but since late 2016 the team’s very own football-specific venue has been in the works. Now this stadium is finally finished.

On Sunday, May 1, Nashville SC played its first game at GEODIS Park, the club’s new permanent home at the Nashville Fairgrounds.

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Construction, development and financing of the GEODIS park

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

As part of the deal, Ingram would pay $9 million a year for the next 30 years and pay back three-quarters of the bond issuance, but this was eventually changed to Ingram paying 100 percent of the cost, plus an additional $19 million for infrastructure Environment improvements.

The stadium project was given 10 acres of the city’s fairgrounds to build the stadium and surrounding projects, and construction began in March 2020 with the demolition of the fairgrounds.

The stadium was designed by Kansas City-based Populous, which had also designed other major venues in Nashville, including Nissan Stadium.

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What is the capacity of the GEODIS park?

GEODIS Park has a stated capacity of 30,000 fans, a marketable improvement over Nissan Stadium’s regular attendance of around 15,000. The opening game against Philadelphia attracted 30,109 fans.

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

However, the club will not be able to equal their own attendance record, set in front of 59,069 fans at their team debut at the Nissan Stadium.

Largest soccer-specific stadiums in the United States and Canada

Rankings & capacities via Forbes

capacity Stadion team
30,000 GEODIS Park Nashville SC
28,351 BMO field Toronto F.C
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 New York Red Bulls
22,039 PNC Stadium Houston Dynamo
22,000 Banc of California Stadium LAFC
20,738 Q2 Stadium Austin F.C
20,500 Toyota Stadium FCDallas

When does the GEODIS Park open?

GEODIS Park made his debut in front of Nashville SC fans on Sunday, May 1 against the Philadelphia Union. The game ended in a 1-1 draw when Randall Leal saved a point for the hosts with a penalty in the 85th minute.

Nashville played all of its first seven games of the season on the road to give the new stadium time to fully prepare for its grand opening. The club sit ninth in the table going into the game, with three wins, two draws and three losses on this long season-opening road trip.

The club now have six of their next eight league games at home and will continue those away games throughout the season, with a total of 17 home games in the remaining 26 games. At the time of its debut, Nashville SC held the longest home unbeaten streak in the league with 19 games.

Nashville SC midfielder Anibal Godoy called the stadium “The Castle” and GM Mike Jacobs said of the debut: “Whether you were here for three years or three months, you all came here on May 1st. They came here to open a brand new building.'”

While the debut is highly anticipated by the league and fans alike, there are a few issues. Parking has become a major problem, with space for just 5,000 cars, and attendance for the opening is expected to reach 30,000 capacity.

How is the food at GEODIS Park?

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

Ahead of the stadium’s opening, Drake Hills of the Tennessean conducted a full review of all 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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