- Bill Hagerty disclosed that each of his four children now owns a stake in Nashville’s MLS team, Nashville SC
- Hagerty told Insider that buying into professional sports runs in the family.
- He also left the door open to buying into the team or another sports franchise in the future.
Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty’s four dependent children have become minority owners of Nashville SC, Tennessee’s Major League Soccer club, according to a financial filing disclosed by Hagerty’s office.
Each of their stakes in Nashville Soccer Holdings LLC is estimated between $1 million and $5 million and effective February 28, according to the disclosure. The exact size of the Hagerty children’s shares is not entirely clear, as federal law only requires senators to disclose broad ranges of their own and their families’ financial assets.
The Tennessee Republican said buying into professional sports runs in the family.
“I’ve been involved in soccer for a long time,” he told Insider just steps from the Senate chamber.
Hagerty said he’s not personally involved in the Nashville SC investment.
“My family is,” he said of the delineation.
He did not, however, close the door to buying his own stake in Nashville SC — or some other sports franchise — later on.
“I’m not sure where my investment portfolio will go over the coming years,” Hagerty said.
Hagerty’s office told Insider that three of his four children are minors and that none of the stakes come with any “managerial control.”
“All of these assets are passive, meaning they involve no managerial control, and held in trusts that are administered by a third-party trustee,” Hagerty spokesperson Judd Deere wrote in an email.
Like other professional leagues, the MLS has at times lobbied Congress.
According to a January 2021 disclosure, the soccer league was lobbying on a bipartisan immigration proposal that passed both the House and Senate. The Senate significantly amended the bill, which has left its future uncertain.
Hagerty’s office said he has prioritized “strict compliance” with Senate ethics rules and guidance on potential conflicts of interest and he “will continue to do so, including with respect to any investments relating to his children.”
Soccer and politics
Nashville SC’s lead investor is John Ingram, a businessman who has made significant contributions to Republican political interests, including committees that benefit Hagerty’s campaign, according to an analysis by USA Today and the Nashville Tennessean.
Hagerty himself was intimately involved in the effort to bring professional soccer to Tennessee.
In 2016, Hagerty told the Tennesseean that he was “engaged in discussions” to support a “high-level” team after a separate ownership group was involved with the United Soccer League. Nashville SC plays under the same name as the now-defunct USL team.
MLS, America’s top professional soccer league, awarded Nashville an expansion team in 2017.
President Donald Trump named Hagerty his ambassador to Japan in 2017. Hagerty, who has also led Tennessee’s economic development department, won his Senate seat in 2020, replacing retiring Republican Lamar Alexander.
Representatives for Nashville SC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The MLS league office did not respond to Insider in time for publication.
The investment by Hagerty’s dependent children comes at a moment when Congress is actively considering restrictions on how lawmakers — and potentially their immediate family members — may purchase individual stocks or otherwise invest their personal assets.
Lawmakers’ interest in pursuing stock trading and investment reforms deepened after Insider’s “Conflicted Congress” project in December found that dozens of lawmakers, and at least 182 senior congressional staffers, had failed to comply with the reporting requirements of the STOCK Act.
“Conflicted Congress” also found numerous examples of conflicts of interest, including that four members of Congress or their spouses have either currently or recently invested money in Russian companies at a time when Russia has invaded Ukraine.