The Gold Cup match between the U.S. and Panama hit Nissan Stadium as one of the most important soccer matches Nashville has ever seen. It also became the most attended soccer match ever in Tennessee.
The match began at 3:30 p.m. Saturday as the city of Nashville and soccer fans in the region got out their red, white, and blue. According to reports, around 47,622 people attended the game.
The match came as Nashville announced it's hoping to get a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion team in Middle Tennessee.
“For Nashville, this is a huge weekend, not only to show the country that they can be a soccer city, but they’re also looking at an MLS expansion bid, and commissioner Don Garber is going to be in town,” said Tony Meola, U.S. soccer legend who won two Gold Cups and an MLS Cup as a goalie.
The commissioner of the MLS, Don Garber, held a press conference on Friday where he said, prior to the game even happening, that he was impressed by how Nashville has presented itself to the MLS and that the city has moved toward the top of his list in locations he'd like to see have an MLS team.
The hope was that Saturday's match would be the most attended soccer game in Tennessee's history, and it was!
Fans lined up to enter Nissan Stadium early Saturday. More than 40,000 tickets were sold before the Gold Cup match started, but sales eventually surpassed 47,000.
The US men's national team has had a history of success in Nashville, drawing almost 45,000 to see their last match here in 2015 against Guatemala. That game marked the second-highest attendance for any U.S. friendly match since the 2014 World Cup.