Nashville (Nashville SC v Atlanta United)

I had visited Nashville for soccer before, back in 2015 when I saw the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves take on Nashville FC, the forerunner of the current MLS team. The franchise was announced in 2017, and Nashville SC’s wikipedia page gives a little insight about the transition, and this from Copa 90 has a little bit of info of how the team made the jump from the NPSL to the USL. Plus a recap of Nashville soccer history can be found here.

Before the match, we decided to check out a bar on Broadway that was hosting Atlanta United fans. When we hit Broadway after walking from our car, it was crazy, with music and drinks and people and general chaos. Every bar was packed with people, as there was a lot going on: Predators/Avalanche game; Nashville SC/Atlanta United game; parties; Saturday afternoon. 

nissan via bridge

nissan from tailgate

We decided rather than wait for an hour for a beer to move on to the Nissan Stadium via the pedestrian bridge, which provides a beautiful view of the city and the stadium. After a quick visit with the Nashville supporters (picked up a nice split scarf that they produced), we made it to the Atlanta United supporters tailgate. A huge crowd took over Lot A with music and food and dancing and chants and smoke. 

49610624667_c7ed61a984_c

Photo courtesy of Terminus Legion

The march started to gather and, while it took a while to get started, the fans made the quick walk to Gate 3. Not sure if the venue was not prepared for us or it was first game kinks or what but it took a long time to get in. After that we hiked up to the 300s.

nissan from seats

I had not been to a American football field in a while and our seats provided a great vantage point. Nissan Stadium is the home to Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL) and the Tennessee State Tigers of Tennessee State University, as well as the Music City Bowl. The venue opened in 1999 and seats around 69,000. The surface is natural grass, which did not look great and I am not sure it will get better during the season.

 

Atlanta United got off to a fast start and were rewarded with a goal by Barco. Nashville settled down and equalized off a free kick was dropped into the penalty area and not dealt with by the Atlanta United defense. Then came a moment of magic from Emerson Hyndman. I didn’t properly celebrate it because I thought VAR would overturn it but the goal stood.

The second half was a tactical battle. While United dominated possession according to the stats, they weren’t able to do much with it and Nashville defended well. A couple of nervy moments as the hosts poured on the pressure. After the injury to Josef, Atlanta just hung on and left the Music City with three points.

The weather cooperated throughout the day but with a 7pm local kickoff, I felt the cold in the second half. (Thank God for layers!!!) Regardless, it was fun to celebrate the launch of a new team in Major League Soccer and we had a great time. So get to Broadway early, get that out of the way, then head to the stadium for tailgate, and watch the match!

I’m looking forward to returning to the Music City in the coming years when their new Soccer Specific Stadium opens in the Fairgrounds area. Anticipated date is 2022.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. Comment below, email me at austinlong1974@gmail.com or hit me up on twitter, @austinlong1974.

Read more about my trips in the past and possible trips in 2020 on my Groundhopping page.

Good luck and safe travels!!

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