Geodis Park – Nashville SC
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71
Geodis Park 625 Smith Ave Nashville, TN 37203
Year Opened: 2022 Capacity: 30,000
Nashville SC’s New Home is Pitch Perfect
In music, perfection takes time, practice, and going the extra mile to assure every piece of the masterpiece sounds exactly right… it cannot be rushed. This is especially true when it comes to Nashville SC and the Music City as they have worked towards building a soccer-specific venue to call home. After two seasons and a two-year stay at Nissan Stadium, the team played its first game in its brand-new home at Geodis Park on May 1, 2022…. and it is simply pitch-perfect!
The new home of Nashville SC was designed by the leading stadium design firm Populous. The 30,000-seat facility is the largest soccer-specific stadium in the country. Despite its size, no seat in the venue is more than 150 feet from the pitch. It features a 360-degree canopy over the seating area to protect fans from the often hot sun during the summer portions of the MLS season. Getting around Geodis Park is extremely easy, as it has a 65-foot-wide shared concourse that encircles the facility. The venue comes with six lounges, 24 box suites, and a dedicated entry for the supporter groups.
The seating color scheme mimics the electric gold and acoustic blue kits worn by the Nashville SC players. This is meant to represent sound waves and vibrations as a salute to Nashville’s music industry. As you would suspect, the sound system installed at Geodis Park is of concert quality.
Food & Beverage 4
Great music and great sports are best enjoyed on a full stomach, and Geodis Park has recruited a virtuoso team of some of Nashville’s top restaurateurs to serve the food and beverage needs of the Nashville SC supporters. Amongst the food purveyors setting up shop in the new stadium are Central BBQ (pulled pork sandwiches, smoked chicken sandwiches, pulled pork nachos, and smoked chicken nachos), Cantina Coctales (tacos and nachos), Houston Street (chicken tenders and burgers) Prince’s Hot Chicken…. everything from plain to XXX hot! (Wings, tenders, mac n’cheese), Daddy’s Dogs (more than thirty different dogs, including the Nashville SC dog), Chiyvanada (empanadas in beef or chicken, Yuca fries, and fried plantains), and the Rockin’ Dough Pizzeria and Brewery (cheese, pepperoni, and spicy Italian pies).
Several local breweries have their craft beers available at Nashville SC’s matches. They include Fat Bottom Brewing, Cumberland Crafts, Wiseacre Brewing, Scofflaw Brewing, Diskin Cider and Harp, and Harry’s Tennessee Beer.
Having a smaller facility than the 70,000-seat Nissan Stadium, and one that is dedicated to soccer has created a greater atmosphere during the matches at Geodis Park. The cheers are more cohesive and the design of the stadium with the canopy traps in the noise, making it a much louder facility. The creation of a new soccer facility has also allowed designers to build several specialized viewing areas throughout the venue. These premium areas can offer perks involving free food and drink, unique views of the action on the field, and private clubs where people not invested in the game results can still enjoy themselves.
These areas include the Transcard Terrace and the Studio Terrace, which offer a view from under the scoreboard or from the studios where the pre and postgame shows are held. Corner Kicks are found in the SE and SW corners of the field and have their bar service and the Captain’s Club, where members have a designated seat in a lounge environment.
Geodis Park is in the Wedgewood-Houston (WeHo) neighborhood and the Nashville Fairgrounds. This former industrial district has converted the many warehouses, factories, and garages into a trendy area filled with galleries, restaurants, and nightclubs. There is also a residential component to the neighborhood, with several homes in the shadow of the new stadium. You will want to visit legendary Hattie B’s for their Nashville Hot Chicken, then enjoy a cold one at M.L. Rose Craft Beer. For sightseeing, head over to the nearby Country Music Hall of Fame or the Nashville Craft Distillery.
Geodis Park is designed to mimic the neighborhood around it. The steel, wood, and iron materials used in its construction are meant to suggest the industrial origins of WeHo.
The Fairgrounds Nashville is located adjacent to Geodis Park. As a part of the agreement with the Fairgrounds, the area will undergo refurbishment as a mixed-use facility, which will include an upgraded Expo event space, and the addition of more retail and residential buildings to bring more energy to the area on an everyday basis. The Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway will be refurbished as it shares an expansive plaza with Geodis Park as a pre-match and pre-race gathering area.
Honestly, there is so much to see and do in Nashville, we can’t include them all in this brief review. For a full list of attractions, restaurants, and lodging, go to Visit Music City.
Most of Nashville SC’s fans are a member of a supporter group under the umbrella of the Backline Supporters Collective. This group helps to create a theme for each game, determines an overall code of conduct for all the supporter groups to follow, and serves as a go-between between the club and its various supporter groups. Supporter groups can be set up based on neighborhood, demographics, personality, and other common interests. Each supporter group develops its chants, cheers songs, and tifos (banners). They are competitive but in a good way. Many groups are heavily involved in community service activities, including cleaning up areas struck by Nashville’s recent floods, providing housing and other services to residents displaced by the Christmas Day bombings, or serving the community during the COVID crisis.
Supporters Groups Celebrate at Geodis Park, Photo by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Some of the larger supporter groups are The Roadies, The Assembly, Eastern Front, Music City Supporters, Music City Heaters, La Brigada de Oro, and the Mixtape. Each supporter group links with a local pub to wet their whistle, both before and after the games.
Many of the supporter groups like to enter the stadium as a group and Geodis Park has created a designated entry point for these groups to march in before the matches. They have also created wide aisles in the supporter sections, as many groups prefer to stand throughout the matches. Geodis Park has allowed each supporter group to design a piece of art representative of their group that is attached to a steel beam of the stadium in the supporter’s group area.
The new stadium has excellent accessibility as far as getting in and around the venue, with nine gates spread around the facility. Geodis Park knows who its most ardent fans are, and it has a designated entry point for supporter groups that both allows them into the stadium with immediate access to the specially designed supporters area and satisfies the supporter group’s desires to be able to participate in a traditional march into the pitch before games.
While the stadium itself offers great accessibility, the same cannot be said for the situation outside of Geodis Park. Parking and traffic are the thorniest issues in and around Geodis Park, as there are only 5,000 parking spaces (much of the parking is on athletic fields that are a muddy mess). In addition, many of the surrounding streets in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood are residential in nature, so they are narrower than commercial streets.
To reduce the demand for parking, the team has set up a menu of alternative travel options to get to the venue. These include free shuttles from Nissan Stadium and some other remote parking areas (the shuttles were not available the night we attended). They also have designated rideshare areas. There was very little signage guiding you to these areas. There was no staff available to guide fans to these pickup areas or to manage the pickup area. This created chaos as the traffic police gave conflicting information to both the rideshare drivers and persons waiting for their pickup.
For those who are lucky enough to get parking passes with their season tickets, the team has sent out directions to the venue that are based on seat location. This should spread the traffic flow both before and after the game.
From I-65: Take the Wedgewood Avenue Exit (#81). Head east on Wedgewood. Turn into your designated parking lot. From I-40: Take the 4th Avenue Exit (#210 C). Head south on 4th Avenue. Turn right at Craighead Street and enter at your designated lot. From I-440: Exit at the Nolensville Exit (#6) Go north on Nolensville. Turn left at Craighead Street and enter at your designated lot.
Return on Investment 3
Geodis Park has a capacity of 30,000 compared to the 60,000 seats found at the team’s former home at Nissan Stadium. There are well over 20,000 season ticket holders. As a result, most Nashville SC matches are sold out in advance, and you will need to find seats at higher prices on the secondary market. Standard pricing of tickets is $23 for General Admission Standing Room Only, $23 for Upper-Level End of Pitch, $32 for Upper-Level Corners, and $39 for Lower-Level Side of Field seats.
Nashville is a tourism hub, and as a result, the area hotels can be quite pricey. It is not unusual to see rates exceeding $200 a night if large conventions or other special events are being held in town. One way to avoid these room rates is to stay in Murfreesboro, about 20 miles south of Nashville on Interstate 24. It has a wide variety of hotels available at prices under $100 and is an easy drive to and from Music City.
The food and beverage income is also a major income generator for Geodis Park. Expect to see $11 hamburgers, $13 hot dogs, and $16 beers. All transactions at Geodis Park are on a cashless basis.
Nashville SC finished its 2021 season at Nissan Stadium unbeaten at home. It hopes to continue this winning streak at Geodis Park. Many of the traditions created during the first few seasons at Nissan Stadium have been transferred to Geodis Park. These include having a great guitarist from Nashville’s large music community playing a Gibson Guitar riff as a call to action, the singing of the team’s anthem, “Never Give Up on You” and the presentation of a gold and blue album that has been pressed on the field and contains highlights of that game to the star of the game. Soccer Moses still appears with his tablet reading “let my people goal.”
Nationally known artists from the Nashville music community also perform the National Anthem. These renditions are of concert quality. Another extra must go to the supporter groups of Nashville SC. Their cheers, chants, and songs go nonstop throughout the matches, and it energizes the whole stadium. Nashville earns an “extra” simply due to its wide variety of attractions for pre and postgame entertainment. There are numerous sites within a few miles of Geodis Park, including the original Ryman Hall, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Parthenon, and Music Row.
The addition of Geodis Park to the Nashville sports scene is yet another reason to visit the Music City for your next getaway trip. The new stadium is well designed, and its cozy seating puts you right on top of the action. During breaks in the action, you can sample foods from some of Nashville’s top restaurants or listen to some of country music’s rising stars. Geodis Park certainly hits a high note with us!