John Ingram remembers the 1990s, before the Nashville Predators were born, when political and business leaders gambled on a Southern city becoming a hockey town as a way to leap into the major leagues.He points to last year’s NHL All-Star Game held in Nashville as validation of success.So now as Ingram, one of the state’s most prominent businessmen and a staple name in Nashville, looks to bring a Major League Soccer expansion franchise to the city, he believes the undertaking isn’t such a stretch. In fact, he’s optimistic.This doesn’t mean Ingram, the lead investor of the 28-member Nashville MLS Steering Committee, isn’t aware of the hurdles.His group represents one of 11 cities racing toward a deadline this Tuesday to submit applications to the MLS to compete for four expansion slots as the league expands to 28 teams. But a late start has meant playing catch-up.Nashville’s ownership group first made contact with MLS officials last year. But some cities have spent years on the effort. Unlike several others getting looks, Nashville has never fielded a pro soccer team at any level. And Nashville’s metropolitan population is the smallest of all the cities under consideration. Read more: Mayor Barry proposes Nashville fairgrounds for… Read full this story
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