Nashville Highlighted as a Top-Rated Sports City at Partnership 2020 Meeting

As the Nashville region has grown, sports have continued to make a significant impact on our region’s diverse culture and economy. Last week, the Nashville Area Chamber hosted 200 investors for the Partnership 2020 Full Investor Meeting at The Cowan at Topgolf.

We heard from some of Nashville's top sports professionals on “The Business of Sports” and the contribution their teams have had on making Nashville a top-rated sports town.

The meeting was kicked off by the newest professional team in town, the Nashville Soccer Club, as their CEO, Ian Ayre, helped the audience understand the history of soccer in the United States, the diversity of its fans and how the team is going to build within the Nashville community.

Ayre’s remarks were followed by an exciting video, featuring footage from MLS, Preds, Sounds, Titans and the Nashville CVC, produced by our marketing and communications team, which celebrated both the teams’ and city’s recent accomplishments earning Nashville the “Top Sports City” title at the end of 2019.

Finally, Monica Fawknotson, Director of Metro Sports Authority, led a discussion with a panel of Sports Business Leaders, which included:

  • Ian Ayre, CEO, Nashville Soccer Club
  • Chris Junghans, Chief Revenue Officer, Nashville Predators
  • Adam Nuse, General Manager, Nashville Sounds
  • Steve Underwood, President and CEO, Tennessee Titans

“Professional sports teams and venues play a major role in building our community and projecting who we are to the rest of the world,” said Ralph Schulz, President and CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Check out the quotes below from the Chamber’s current and former Board chairs on the importance of professional sports to our city and region.

“Professional sports are a key part of Nashville’s success story and portray the winning spirit of this city.” - Ron Samuels, Former Vice Chairman, Pinnacle Financial Partners (Retired)

“In business, you take risks to build something great. Our sports culture reflects this spirit.” - Darrell Freeman, Executive Managing Director, Zycron, a division of BG Staffing, Inc.

“Nashville’s sports teams serve as rallying points for our very diverse region- a place where different races, cultures and communities can come together as one, united in the purpose of rooting for the home team. Economic benefits evolve from this enthusiasm!” - Claire Tucker, founding president and CEO Emerita, Capstar Bank

“Our region thrives when public and private sectors work together. The Titans, Preds, Nashville Soccer Club and Sounds exemplify this.” - Marty Dickens, Former Regional Executive, BellSouth/AT&T Tennessee (Retired)

“Investments like those by John Ingram and the MLS ownership team make Nashville a great place to live.” - Milton Johnson, Former Chairman and CEO, HCA Healthcare (Retired)

“Professional sports increase local spending and tourism, and can even revitalize an entire community, as we’ve seen in Germantown since First Horizon Park opened in 2015.” - Carol Yochem, Middle Tennessee Market President, First Horizon Bank

“The MLS team expansion and stadium development will give a new generation of Nashvillians access to a sport they love.” - Rob McCabe, Chairman, Pinnacle Financial Partners

“Professional sports attract and retain great talent to our region – a critical need for employers.” - Wayne Smith, Chairman and CEO, Community Health Systems, Inc.

“Along with our established sports teams, MLS will bring opportunities for jobs and entertainment to our city’s residents.” - Kent Adams, Former President and CEO, Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation (Retired)

“Nashville Soccer Club is forward thinking and aimed at a diverse and international community. It’s good for Nashville.” - Bert Mathews, President, The Mathews Company

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