Justin Timberlake has joined an investment group working toward bringing a Major League Baseball franchise to Nashville, Tennessee, The Tennessean reported Wednesday.
Music City Baseball, a collective of business and civic leaders as well as entertainers that has an impressive roster already, jumped at the opportunity to add another marquee name, and a 10-time Grammy Award winner.
“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 to The Tennessean. “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.”
Dave Dombrowski, a veteran of front offices across MLB — including a championship run as president of baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox, who won three consecutive American League East titles (2016-18) and a World Series during his tenure — is also a member of Music City Baseball.
John Loar, the leader of the Nashville group, said Wednesday that adding Timberlake to stand alongside members such as Dombrowski was a top priority.
“I reached out to Justin’s management group 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.”
“For us this is huge,” Dombrowski told The Tennessean. “[He] is somebody that’s world-known, huge in the area and the region and the state. He supports baseball and all of the other things that we stand for. Having someone like that involved speaks a lot for his interest in making this work and also gives us support in talking to other individuals of this ilk. It’s extremely important to us.”
The group also boasts a Music Industry Advisors committee, clearly tying itself back to a profession that is a staple in Nashville. Timberlake will be a part of that subset as well, joining Kix Brooks, Kane Brown, Eric Church, Luke Combs and Larry Gatlin, among others.
Dave Stewart — a three-time World Series champion; the 1989 World Series MVP, as a starting pitcher for the Oakland Athletics; and a former general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks — is also a part of Music City Baseball’s leadership team.
But there’s still work to be done, regardless of the name power in the group. In an interview with The Tennessean in July, the owner of the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, Frank Ward, spoke honestly about the logistics still at play for the group, including finding additional financing, as well as a plan for territorial rights and an eventual stadium. Eventually, the city of Nashville will be a larger part of this push, he said.
“No matter what you say,” he told the newspaper, “at the end of the day you’re going to need city money.”