Justin Timberlake wants MLB franchise in Nashville, joins group as investor

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Actor and singer Justin Timberlake joined a group of Tennessee-based investors on Wednesday in their quest to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to Nashville.

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The Grammy Award-winning artist made an investment with Music City Baseball, a group that includes businessman John Loar and former Boston Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski. In addition to his investment, Timberlake will serve on the group’s Music Industry Advisors committee, the Tennessean reported.

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"I am thrilled to be involved in the movement to bring Major League Baseball to the great state of Tennessee,” Timberlake said in a statement. “I believe in Music City Baseball’s vision of linking baseball and music in a unique way to unite and entertain people and I am excited to help generate awareness throughout the community as we share our vision for bringing MLB to Music City.”

The size of Timberlake’s financial commitment was not disclosed. Music City Baseball’s board of advisors includes Loar, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former Oakland Athletics All-Star Dave Stewart and longtime MLB manager Tony La Russa.

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Loar said Timberlake’s Memphis roots made him an ideal fit with the group’s vision.

"I reached out to Justin's management group and and we've been working with Justin for over six months," Loar told the newspaper. "I think he's passionate about sports and he's interested in the entertainment angle that we're presenting in building a world class entertainment district, which includes a ballpark. Incorporating music and sports is interesting to him."

Timberlake holds a minority ownership stake in the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. He earned more than $57 million in 2019, according to Forbes.

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Music City Baseball is aiming to start a team called the Nashville Stars. However, the group faces a difficult path to actually land an expansion team. Key details, such as financing and a pathway to a home stadium, have yet to be revealed.

MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred said as recently as last season that there was “no timetable” for the addition of expansion franchise. The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already cost the league tens of millions of dollars in revenue, further complicates the matter.

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