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WNSR Sports Stories

Tigers Fall in South Bend

On Saturday, September 2 the Tennessee State University Tigers football team strapped on the pads and headed out onto the field to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana. This matchup is one never seen before; this is the first time Notre Dame has faced an HBCU school. Not only that it is the first time they have faced a school at the FCS level.

The Irish received the opening kickoff from the Tigers and got their offense rolling right away. Notre Dame drove right down the field on their opening possession which was capped off by a 36-yard touchdown run by Jeremiyah Love. The Tigers responded with a nice job of their own that was stalled at the ND 20 which led to a field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, Notre Dame return man Devyn Ford fumbled the ball giving the Tigers prime field position deep in ND territory. However, the TSU offense fell flat which led to a field goal attempt that would be blocked by the Irish. The score was 7-3 and that was as close as it was going to get. The Irish rattled off 49 straight points resulting in a 56-3 victory over TSU.

Besides the first drive, the Tiger offense could not get anything going. They struggled through the air and on the ground. The Tigers could only get 67 yards passing while only gaining 89 running. On the other hand, Notre Dame had no issue moving the ball with over 500 yards of offense and only 5 plays that resulted in negative yardage in the first half. The Irish were almost perfect on 3rd down conversations going 9-11, while the Tigers only managed 4 conversions in 14 tries two of those coming on the first drive of the game.


The Tigers continue their season next week on WNSR when they face Arkansas Pine-Bluff in the Southern Heritage Classic at Liberty Stadium in Memphis. Kickoff is at 6:00 PM.


Alek Kisiel / WNSR Columnist 

@AlekKisiel on Twitter 


The Power 3!

In 2010 College Football had six power conferences the BIG 10, SEC, BIG 12, ACC, PAC 10 and Big East. These conferences dominated the sport, and all had BCS bowl tie-ins. 13 years later we are looking at having three super conferences taking over conference football. In the last two years, we have seen 14 teams change the landscape of college football and college athletics as a whole. It all started with Texas and Oklahoma jumping to the SEC giving the conference 16 members starting in 2024. This was followed by USC and UCLA joining the BIG 10 giving that conference 16 members as well. This saw the BIG 12 add four new members BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and, UCF. For the time being, things seemed quiet. That would soon change.

            In the last few weeks, we have seen a tidal wave wash its way over College Football. The First domino to fall was Colorado who announced that they would be rejoining the BIG 12. What seemed like moments later Oregon and Washington headed to BIG 10 country. The final move was Arizona, ASU, and Utah announcing their departure to the BIG 12. This means the BIG 12 and SEC are at 16 schools while the BIG 10 now has 18. Now this begs the question what about the PAC 12?

            The PAC 12 is one of the oldest conferences in College athletics. It has a proud history with many national titles under its belt. But these moves have left the once proud conference with only four member schools: Oregon State, Washington State, Stanford, and California. So, what is the PAC 12 to do? The first option is to fold completely and make the four-member schools fend for themselves. The next and most likely option is for the PAC 12 to absorb at least eight new members, most from the Mountain West Conference. The eight most likely candidates to form the new PAC 12 are Boise State, Fresno State, San Diego State, San Jose State, Utah State, UNLV, Nevada, and SMU. Adding these schools will not bring in the revenue they had in the past, but the PAC 12 is a proud conference and they will not give up without a fight. 

            One conference that has remained relatively untouched by all this has been the ACC. That soon could change however, the SEC will most likely want to expand to 18 or 20 teams and regionally many of the teams make sense for the SEC. The four schools that could possibly switch over are Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Louisville. All four regionally make sense and all of their rivals are SEC schools making these four a natural fit in the SEC.

            All this realignment is leading to the very real possibility that we are looking at three power conferences in College Football. The game we grew to love is going to change forever and I don't think in a good way. This takes regional pride out of play, it destroys rivalries and makes it harder for many teams to contend for a conference championship. So buckle up because 2024 is going to be something we have never seen before.



Alek Kisiel / WNSR Columnist 

AlekKisiel on Twitter 

James Lawson High School Athletic Facilities

At the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year James Lawson High School will open its doors in the Bellevue area. The school is replacing Hillwood High School after over 60 years of operation. The new state-of-the-art high school will open after nearly a decade of planning and construction which ended up costing about 124 million dollars. Lawson will house nearly 1600 students during its first year of operation and many of those students will be part of the school's athletic programs.

Athletics in high school are crucial to the students, it teaches them teamwork and comradery. Lawson did not hold back when it came to designing its athletic facilities. The brand-new gymnasium can house around 1600 people, while the football field sits right next to the Harpeth River and Interstate 40. The campus will also contain fields for most outdoor sports like soccer, baseball, and softball. There will also be practice fields on sight. Inside there is also a practice gym and wrestling facilities. Needless to say, Lawson went all out for their athletic department.

Lighting Athletics kick off their 2023-2024 campaign on August 18th when the football team hosts Cheatham County. This will mark the first game for coach Brian Lilly’s squad in school history and the first at the brand-new Lighting Stadium. The Lighting will host five home games this season with their final test coming against Nolensville on October 6th.

Lawson High School is looking for an exciting season for its football program and its athletic department as a whole. These new facilities should give these student-athletes an extra boost for the upcoming school year.

Homes games are highlighted 

Lawson Lightning Football Schedule 2023

8/18  Cheatham County vs James Lawson 

8/25  James Lawson vs Sycamore

8/31  Stratford vs James Lawson 

9/8  Centennial vs James Lawson

9/15  Spring Hill vs James Lawson

9/22  James Lawson vs Hillsboro

9/29  James Lawson vs Page

10/6  Nolensville vs James Lawson 

10/20  James Lawson vs Columbia Central

10/26  James Lawson vs Glencliff 



Alek Kisiel / WNSR Columnist 

@AlekKisiel on Twitter 




The Hogs Surging Forward

The year was 1989: the Detroit Pistons had won their first NBA title, Wayne Gretzky became the National Hockey League's all-time leading scorer, and Barry Sanders was a rookie in the NFL. Also, that year the Arkansas Razorback football team claimed their last conference championship. The Razorbacks finished 10-2 with one loss in the conference and one in their Cotton Bowl appearance against Tennessee. It may be hard to believe it has been that long, but it is also harder to believe that this was not done in the SEC. Arkansas football at the time was part of the Southwestern Conference which included teams like Rice, SMU, and future SEC member Texas. The Razorbacks have never won the SEC but have four trips to the title game.

            Sam Pittman inherited one of the worst jobs in the SEC when he took the reins in 2020. The previous two seasons saw the Hogs go 4-20 with zero conference wins. Pittman has started to steer the ship in a different direction. In his three seasons at the helm, he has compiled a 19-17 record with two bowl appearances, winning both. He has also had some signature wins as head coach which includes a win over 16th-ranked Mississippi State to snap a 20-game conference losing streak in 2020 and a win over number 15 Texas in the 2021 season.

Arkansas Quarterback - KJ Jefferson, answering questions at SEC Media Days in Nashville TN

Pittman has also developed one of the best QBs in the nation. KJ Jefferson has turned himself into an elite quarterback. He has thrown for over 5,000 yards in his two full seasons as the razorback's starter, what's even more impressive is what he can do on the ground. Jefferson has rushed for over 1,400 yards averaging just over three yards a carry. His play on the field has made him one of the top quarterback prospects headed into the 2024 NFL draft. He was also on the preseason all-SEC second team. QB is not the only strength for this Arkansas team Raheim "Rocket" Sanders is back. Sanders led the SEC in rushing during his second season in Fayetteville with over 1400 yards on the ground adding nearly 300 more receiving. Sanders was picked to be the first-team all-SEC running back for the upcoming season. These two guys returning should give the Razorbacks a potent offense under first-year OC Dan Enos.

            Even with some star power coming back the Hogs were fifth in a stacked SEC west behind: Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss. Arkansas' non-conference schedule is fairly easy with BYU being their best opponent. But the key for the Razorbacks is getting through the gauntlet of their first four conference games. The Hogs have to travel to LSU, Arlington to play A&M, Ole Miss, and Alabama. Winning just two of those games would be huge for the Razorbacks and will put them in good shape for the second half of the season. 

            Arkansas football was in a dark place under Chad Morris. Sam Pittman has brought life back to Fayetteville. His coaching ability is giving Razorback fans hope for the future and they hope that future has Sam Pittman cracking open a beer after a SEC championship victory.




Alek Kisiel / WNSR Columnist 

@AlekKisiel on Twitter 

Taking a Gamble

In recent months the National Football League has had a major issue with players gambling on mobile sports apps. It has affected multiple teams and some notable players throughout the league. Some of the major players who have seen their 2023 season reduced are Lions receiver Jameson Williams, Colts defensive back/return specialist Isaiah Rodgers, and Titans Offensive Tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere. Williams and Petit-Frere are suspended for six games and Rodgers is suspended for the entire 2023 season. Rodgers was betting on NFL games while the other two were making bets on other sports while on team property.

            Many think the NFL has not been clear on the rules of when or how to use gambling apps, putting players in tough situations when it comes to gambling. Many also believe that the NFL promoting gambling for their fans has made the rules very iffy for players who see these gambling ads being run by the league they play for. This leads some to believe that the punishments handed out to the number of players suspended are unfair.

 Dave McGinnis (Titans Radio Network) & Jonathan Hutton (Outkick) at Kitchen Notes inside The Omni Nashville Hotel

"You don't know who has done what based on who is going to be turned in through these betting apps retroactively, they can stress the rules again all they want to. There suspending players before stressing the rules for a second or third time based on what had happened last fall or the past winter slash early spring,” said Johnathan Hutton in his interview on the Greg Pogue and John Burton Show.

            However, Hutton does agree that betting on NFL games does warrant a suspension. Most people have problems with the suspension of gambling on non-NFL events on team property like Titans Offensive Tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere did.

            This suspension also puts a wrench in the Titans offensive line which struggled last season. Petit-Frere is the team's starting right tackle a key part of that O-line. Now the Titans have to rework their line for the six games of the regular season, five of those games are against AFC teams which is critical for tiebreakers for a possible playoff berth. The Titans also need to stay healthy upfront with this suspension or they will be in serious trouble in the trenches. In those first six games, they have to face guys like Myles Garrett and Joey Bosa which does not bode well for a depleted offensive line. 


Alek Kisiel / WNSR Columnist 

@AlekKisiel on Twitter 




TSU & WNSR establish broadcast partnership











[Nashville, TN, June 30th 2023 ] — Tennessee State University and Nashville Sports Radio WNSR are pleased to announce a significant three-year partnership aimed at enriching the gameday experience for Tiger fans and expanding the coverage of TSU football and basketball throughout the Nashville region.


Under this innovative collaboration, WNSR Radio Nashville, renowned for its local sports coverage, will serve as the official radio broadcast partner for TSU Football and basketball. This multi-year agreement grants WNSR exclusive rights to provide live play-by-play coverage of all TSU football and basketball games, including regular season matches and postseason appearances. This partnership signifies a major milestone for both institutions, combining the rich traditions of TSU with WNSR's dedication to delivering comprehensive sports coverage.


WNSR's flagship network, 560 AM, 95.9 FM (Nashville), 107.9 FM (Smyrna), and, will broadcast all TSU football and men's basketball games, allowing fans to stay connected with their beloved Tigers regardless of their location. Additionally, WNSR will offer in-depth pregame and postgame analysis, exclusive interviews with coaches and players, and behind-the-scenes content to engage fans on a deeper level.


"We are thrilled to return to WNSR, one of the founding stations for TSU Athletics," expressed Dr. Mikki Allen, Director of Athletics at TSU. "The profound significance that WNSR will bring to our football and basketball games will undoubtedly be cherished by our devoted fans."


The inaugural broadcast of this partnership will take place during the highly anticipated season-opening football game at Notre Dame on Saturday, Sept. 2.


“Voice of the Tigers" Greg Pogue will handle play-by-play duties for both football and men's basketball, with former Tennessee Titan Chris Sanders joining him in the football booth. Veteran broadcaster Albert Dawson returns to the WNSR airwaves and teams up with Pogue for the men's basketball broadcasts. Adam Johnson, WNSR operations manager, will serve as executive producer for all TSU broadcasts.


"This collaboration with TSU perfectly aligns with our mission to provide Nashville sports fans with top-quality coverage," said Johnson. "We are committed to showcasing the exceptional talent and dedication of TSU athletes, and we are honored to become the radio home for Tiger football. Through this partnership, we aim to elevate the game day experience for all TSU fans and foster a deeper connection between the radio station and the North Nashville community."


In addition to game day broadcasts, WNSR Radio Nashville will collaborate with TSU Football on community outreach initiatives, special events, and promotional activities. This partnership extends beyond the radio airwaves, allowing both organizations to support the local community and further promote the pride and spirit of TSU.


The TSU and WNSR partnership promises an exciting future for the Tiger faithful, as it brings together the passion of TSU's loyal fans with the expertise and reach of WNSR's sports coverage. Together, they will create an immersive experience that celebrates the triumphs and achievements of TSU Athletics while strengthening the bonds within the Nashville community.


WNSR is dedicated to delivering comprehensive sports coverage to the Nashville community. With an experienced and passionate team of sports broadcasters, WNSR provides in-depth analysis, engaging discussions, and live coverage of local and national sporting events.


As part of the agreement, WNSR will feature dedicated coaches' shows, highlighting football head coach Eddie George and men's basketball head coach Penny Collins, offering fans an inside look at the players, coaches, and game strategies. These programs will provide exclusive access and insights into the world of TSU Football, further strengthening the team and its passionate supporters.


WNSR can also be streamed on mobile devices using the TSU Tigers app and through Alexa smart speakers.


For more information about TSU Athletics and WNSR Radio Nashville, please visit and


About Tennessee State University Athletics:

Tennessee State University has a rich tradition in athletics, with achievements ranging from international success in track and field to 11 Black College Football National Championships. Legendary Track and Field Coach Ed Temple coached 40 student-athletes who competed in the Olympics, including Wilma Rudolph, the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympiad. From 1946-1982, TSU's football program posted a remarkable 101-8-2 record and won 11 Black College Football National Championships. Currently, over 250 student-athletes compete for the Tigers in seven men's and eight women's sports in the Ohio Valley Conference, which participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. Visit TSU Athletics online at


About WNSR Nashville Sports Radio:

Established in the fall of 1996, WNSR became Nashville's first 24-hour sports radio station. As a CBS Sports Radio affiliate, WNSR also syndicates the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies, the MLB's Atlanta Braves, and the Jim Rome Show (11a-2p). Locally, WNSR hosts the Bill King Show (6-9a), Greg Pogue and Jon Burton Show (9-11a), and The McFarland Show (2-4p).


This morning Nick Guerriero, (TSU Assistant Athletic Director) co-hosted The Greg Pogue & News Channel 5 Jon Burton Show. Guerriero & Pogue discussed the new TSU & WNSR broadcast partnership. Also highlighting TSU's future colleigate ice hockey program, begining in the fall of 2024.  At the 59:00 mark - Dr. Mikki Allen (Director of Athletics at TSU) joined the show to promote the new partnership between TSU & WNSR. Listen here




Young Guns in Smashville

The NHL draft is complete and the Nashville Predators who hosted the event came added 11 young men to their core of prospects. The first round was highlighted with two picks: Matthew Wood a right winger who just completed his first season in Storrs, Connecticut playing for the UCONN Huskies, and Tanner Molendyk a defenseman who spent last season playing for the Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League. Day saw the Preds bring in nine more prospects to the organization including seven more forwards, a goalie, and a defenseman.

            At fifteenth overall Nashville selected Matthew Wood. Wood played his hockey at the University of Connecticut where he was the youngest player in all of NCAA Division 1. Wood did not turn 18 until February 6, meaning he played about half the season at 17. Even though Wood was the youngest player in all of college hockey he still nearly put up a point per game garnering 34 points in 35 games with the Huskies. He tallied 11 goals while serving 23 assists during the 2022-2023 campaign. He was considered to be a top 20 prospect by most outlets while a top ten prospect among North American skaters. Wood never went two consecutive games without having a point during his college career, something Predators fans hope he can bring to this team in the future. He is expected to return for one more season at UCONN so he may not throw on the gold and navy blue until late 2024 or the beginning of the next season.



At pick 23 the Predators select blueliner Tanner Molendyk a defenseman playing his hockey in the WHL for Saskatoon. In his 2023-2024 season, he racked up 37 points with nine goals and 28 assists in 67 games. He is smaller than your average NHL defenseman weighing in at 181 with a height of 5-11. But he has speed on the ice which makes up for being undersized. Most consider Molendyk to be a two-way defenseman with a wicked shot. He was a projected top 10 to 15 defenseman in this year's NHL draft.

            The Predators added nine more prospects in Barry Trotz’s goal of retooling this team that missed the playoffs last year for the first time in nearly a decade. Trotz spoke recently about his vision of a parade on Broadway and he believes that this core of young talent can help bring the cup to Smashville.


2nd round picks: Kalan Lind & Felix Nilsson



Alek Kisiel / Wnsr Columnist 

@AlekKisiel on Twitter 

Tigers on Ice

On Wednesday, June 28 Tennessee State University announced that they will be adding a hockey program. This will make Tennessee State the first HBCU school to have a team hit the ice. Tennessee State announced that the team will begin play during the 2024-2025 season. The team will start as a club program, but the University has plans to expand to NCAA division-1 in the near future. They plan to have a men's team and a women's team compete. This announcement comes on the day of the NHL draft being held in Nashville.

            In a press release that was sent out Tennessee State President Glenda Glover said, “Bringing ice hockey to Tennessee State University is a part of our continued commitment to provide our students with new opportunities and to broaden new interests in areas where they have traditionally had limited or no access.” 



This announcement is an important step toward expanding diversity in a sport that has lacked diversity in its long existence. This announcement is also important for expanding college hockey in untapped markets. Tennessee States' announcement is not just grounding breaking for HBCUs but is groundbreaking for college hockey in the southern states.

            While the NHL has a foothold in the South with teams like the Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, and Nashville Predators college hockey has yet to gain traction in the Southern United States. While there are many club programs in the South there are zero Division 1 programs. The University of Alabama Huntsville did have a program, but it was discounted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Division 1 college hockey currently has 62 teams located in the Northeast and Midwestern United States with some exceptions like Arizona State. But with today's announcement that Tennessee State plans to field a Division 1 team in the future, this could mean possible expansion for other Southern schools to follow. Tennessee State is not just a leader for HBCU schools but for all Southern schools looking to maybe add ice hockey to part of their athletic department.


TSU President Glenda Glover

This announcement also confirms that Nashville is the gold standard for hockey in the South. Gary Bettman the current commissioner of the NHL led a movement to have teams in the South. It has been semi-successful for certain markets, but the Nashville experiment worked. Nashville has some of the most passionate fans in the National Hockey League and bringing a college hockey program with plans to go to Division 1 to an already established hockey market will make Nashville the hockey capital of the South.

            Tennessee States' historic announcement will forever change the landscape of college hockey. They will be a leader for other HBCU schools to expand their athletic departments to include hockey. They will also be a leader for all schools in the South that are thinking about adding a hockey program. The Tennessee State Tigers have continued to prove that the Music City is one of the best hockey markets in North America.




Alek Kisiel / WNSR Columnist 

@Alekkisiel on Twitter - Email 

The Dawgs Hunt for Three.

The 2022 Georgia Bulldogs football team completed one of the best football seasons we have ever seen. The Bulldogs compiled a 15-0 record becoming the third team in the College Football Playoff Era to do so. The 2018 Clemson Tigers and the 2019 LSU Tigers are also a part of that elite group. The Bulldogs also successfully defended their title from the previous year. The question for Bulldog fans and the rest of college football is do they have the recipe to complete the first threepeat since the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the mid-1930s?

            The main concern for Georgia heading to camp is replacing a key piece to that high-flying offense that averaged 41 points a game. Quarterback Stetson Bennett has held the keys to the Georgia offense for the last two seasons. In Bennett's last season as a Bulldog, he threw for 4100 yards, 27 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He also completed 68 percent of his passes in his final season in Athens. With his departure to the Los Angeles Rams, the Bulldogs have a tough task finding a replacement for the two-time national champion. The two likely options for the Bulldogs this season are Junior Carson Beck and Redshirt Sophomore Blake Vandergriff. Carson Beck looks to be the front-runner after a strong spring campaign and the advantage of more game experience. Though Beck looks to be ahead in the battle it is still anyone's game once training camp gets started.

            The Bulldogs are not completely tapped out on the offensive side of the ball. Georgia’s leading receiver, tight end Brock Bowers will be back after a year where he caught 63 passes for 942 yards averaging 15 yards per reception. The first-team all-American won the Jack Mackey Award in 2022 as the nation's best tight end. Bowers is considered to be the top tight-end prospect for the 2024 NFL Draft. The teams second leading receiver Ladd McConkey will also be returning to Athens. The team's leading rusher Kenny McIntosh will be with Seattle Seahawks in 2023 after being taken in the 7th round. That does not leave the Bulldogs empty-handed in the backfield with Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton both coming back. The two accounted for 1,361 yards on the ground. However, the Bulldogs will need to find that guy who can catch passes out of the backfield. Edwards and Milton are excellent on the ground, but they were nowhere near the pass-catching threats out of the backfield like McIntosh, so that will be something to pay attention to this upcoming season. On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs lost key contributors like Jalen Carter, Kelee Ringo, and Nolan Smith who were all taken in the NFL draft. Smith and Carter were first-round picks while all three were taken by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bulldogs will have their leading tackler Smael Mondon Jr back along with their two leaders in sacks Mykel Williams and Jamon Dumas-Johnson.

            Georgia's schedule is also favorable for them this year. Their non-conference slate contains Tennessee Martin, Ball State, UAB, and in-state rival Georgia Tech. None of those teams should be a concern for the Bulldogs this season. In conference, there does not seem to be many people standing in their way. They do have games at Auburn and Tennessee this year but escape Alabama and LSU the two top teams in the SEC West last season. The path looks clear for the Bulldogs to head back to the SEC championship game and most likely another College Football Playoff berth. 

            Winning a national championship is hard, winning two in a row is even harder, and winning three is unprecedented. It has not been done in nearly 90 years. The 2023 Georgia Bulldogs have a chance to make history. With the talent coming back and a favorable schedule do not be surprised to see Kirby Smart and his team put a third ring on their finger.


Click here to listen to Mike Griffith (AJC-DawgNation) on "The Bill King Show."




Alek Kisiel / WNSR Columnist 

Twitter: @AlekKisiel 


Omaha Bound!

Strike up the band and sing Rocky Top, the Volunteers are headed back to Omaha! The Vols took down the Golden Eagles of Southern Mississippi 5-0 in game three of the Hattiesburg super regional Monday night. This is the sixth College World Series appearance for the Volunteers and their second in the last three seasons.

            Griffin Merritt got the night started for Tennessee when his single to right field scored Christian Moore in the bottom second inning. Zane Denton added to the lead in the fifth with a monster three-run homer to put the Vol's up 4-0. The scoring did not stop there Maui Ahuna added another bomb in the seventh to put the Volunteers up five runs to zero. While the balls were flying the pitching was no slouch either. Drew Beam was excellent in his six innings of work, allowing zero runs and seven hits while walking one and striking out seven. After Beam's night was over the bullpen continued to shut down the Southern Miss lineup. Aaron Combs and Chase Burns did not allow a hit while walking only one batter combined.

            While Tennessee did get the job done in Hattiesburg, there was some added pressure on the boys from Rocky Top. After losing game one the Vols had to win two straight on the road to make an appearance in Omaha. They would take game two from the Golden Eagles during the second game on Sunday leading the rubber match on Monday night which sent the Volunteers to the College World Series.

            The Vols join two other teams out of the Southeastern Conference in Omaha. The Gators from Florida and the LSU Tigers are also making the trip to Nebraska. Joining the three programs out of the SEC are Wake Forest, Virginia, TCU, Stanford, and Oral Roberts. Right now, the odds-on favorites to win the College World Series are the Demon Deacons from Wake Forest who are number one in the national polls and have compiled a 52-10 record. The Volunteers hit the diamond in Omaha for the time since 2021 when they face fellow SEC member LSU on their quest to gain that first College World Series title. The first pitch is scheduled for six o'clock central time on Saturday, June 17.


Alek Kisiel / WNSR Columnist 

@AlekKisiel - Twitter




MLB in the Music City?

When you ask someone to describe baseball, they might tell you the ivy at Wrigley Field, the Yankee pinstripes, or even peanuts and crackerjacks. Baseball has been in the hearts and minds of millions around the country for generations. There is nothing like putting on your favorite player's jersey and singing take me out to the ball game while watching your favorite team. But for sports fans in Nashville and the Central Tennessee area Major League Baseball has not found its foothold.

            With the recent news of the Oakland Athletics moving from the Bay area to Sin City many people in the Nashville area are thinking why not us? The sports market has boomed in the last two decades, the city went from having no major sports franchises to two successful teams the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators. Nashville has also added Nashville SC of the MLS which had its inaugural season in 2020. This leads many to believe that Nashville might be the right spot for an MLB franchise.

            Nashville and Tennessee as a whole have no shortage of baseball fandom. College baseball is huge in Tennessee and the South in general. Vanderbilt has been a powerhouse on the diamond winning two College World Series Championships since 2014 and has made five appearances in the World Series since 2011. In 2023 Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Lipscomb all made the NCAA tournament with Volunteers currently in the Super Regionals against Southern Mississippi. On the MLB side, the Braves also have a strong following in the region along with transplants from other parts of the country who bring their fandom of other teams with them.

            The question is how is Nashville going to acquire this team? The Oakland A's leaving Oakland behind has given thought to an already established MLB team picking up shop and moving it the Music City. Only one real candidate for relocation and that is the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays struggle with attendance in St. Petersburg, Florida, and their ballpark Tropicana Field is considered by most to be one of the worst facilities not just in baseball but all of sports. There have also been rumors of a departure from St. Petersburg for years with locations such as Nashville, Charlotte, and Montreal being listed.

              The more realistic option for a team in Nashville is expansion. The MLB has wanted to expand to different markets and Nashville is a prime candidate. However, many things need to happen to get the ball rolling on the idea. There need to be investors who can pay to have the franchise in the city and there needs to be a way to break ground on a stadium, whether it is privately funded or by city tax dollars.

              The Nashville sports market has made been on the rise and a Major League Baseball franchise could be the icing on the cake. Having an MLB team in Nashville would truly make the city one of the top markets in the country and could lead to more expansions like NBA or WNBA. So the question is not if, it is when? 


Written by: Alek Kisiel / WNSR Columnist 

@AlekKisiel - Follow on Twitter



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