- During a meeting of the Sports Authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County on Sept. 20, the board approved a resolution awarding the $167.5 million construction management services contract for a new $275 million Major League Soccer stadium to the joint venture of Mortenson and Messer Construction, according to the Nashville Tennessean.
- Mortenson-Messer received the highest score among a field of four bidders, but the board's official vote on the contract only came after a rejection of general contractor Barton Malow's protest against the scoring process, which ranked companies according to qualifications, experience, management and work plan, diversity plan and cost. Mortenson had the highest score of 96.75 out of 100. Barton Malow had the lowest bid of $160.5 million but earned a score of 96. Skanska-AECOM Hunt's score was 96.65, and PCL Construction-DF Chase's was 84. Board members said the team of Mortenson and Messer stood out for their involvement in successful local projects, as well as for their workforce management and diversity plans for the project.
- The city's purchasing agent upheld the Mortenson-Messer decision on Aug. 29, but Barton Malow did not respond to the decision within the seven-day appeal period. The city must still finalize the agreement with Mortenson-Messer. According to city documents, final plans should be submitted to the MLS by Feb. 25, 2019, with construction starting the following June. The stadium is scheduled to open Feb. 19, 2021.
Len Moser, vice president of Barton Malow, told Construction Dive last year that soccer-specific stadiums are designed a little differently than typical American sports venues, so it's no surprise that Nashville officials took experience with these types of projects into consideration when scoring bidders.
Some of the special design considerations include noise-enhancing features like cantilevered overhangs, increasing excitement for fans and meant to intimidate the opposing team; standing-room-only areas for team supporters who bring drums, banners and smoke bombs to matches; and a slimmed-down sideline area that allows seating to be placed closer to the pitch and team benches. For standing areas, safety features include small, divided areas so that crowding can be isolated and controlled and doesn't pose a crushing threat.
One thing soccer-specific stadiums have in common with other sports venues, however, is that owners are converting surrounding areas into mixed-use properties that include housing, retail and entertainment offerings to maximize use even when it's not game day. The new stadium in Nashville will include all of these elements and a hotel as part of an adjacent 10-acre development.