GEODIS Park opens to sell-out, Nashville SC crowd as SC ties in opening game
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Nashville SC tied with the Philadelphia Union 1-1 in their opening game in GEODIS Park on Sunday afternoon as SC’s Randall Leal had the equalizer in the 85th minute.
The Union took the lead with the first goal in the 64th minute. SC head coach Gary Smith talked to the media after the game.
“We would’ve loved nothing more than to have bagged all 3 points. I can’t believe there were too many people in the stadium today who didn’t see the opportunity, and the passion was there,” Smith said.
“I think we knew the fans would give us that extra boost. And when you see what it was like our there,” Smith added. “The crowd was magnificent. It felt today like the acoustics were brilliant as well.”
SC’s Leal is thankful that he was able to tie the game, but he says the moment wasn’t just about him.
“Today, I took the ball and said to God, please heal me. And we scored. It’s not just about me,” Leal said.
After two years of playing home matches at Nissan Stadium, Nashville SC began its new chapter at GEODIS Park Sunday afternoon.
The $335 million stadium is the largest soccer-specific stadium in the U.S.
“Walking up and seeing this is incredible. It’s a dream,” Nashville SC fan Alejandro Herrera said. “This is our team; this is our home. To know that we’re going to be making memories here, the heartbreaks, the wins. It’s just going to be really exciting.”
A sea of fans in their yellow and blue began making its way into the GEODIS Park gates three hours before the game against Philadelphia Union began.
“I think Nashville to the world is honkey-tonks and Broadway. But now with the stadium, we’re going to show them we’re way more than that,” Herrera said. “Nashville is diverse. It’s beautiful. People look all different ways but we all love the same thing, Nashville soccer.”
GEODIS Park, which seats 30,000 people, was built in the Wedgewood neighborhood of Nashville.
Police were out directing traffic much of the day, with parking concerns forcing Nissan stadium to open its parking lot to shuttle people to the game.
TDOT officials warned of heavy congestion around the stadium before and after the game, which began at 3 p.m.
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