I read with great interest the mayor’s letter to the city and appreciate his transparency and openness about this complicated but nevertheless critically important project. When the mayor says “doing nothing is not an option,” that’s frankly an understatement. Doing nothing would likely necessitate a large property tax increase as we (the city and its taxpayers) would contractually foot the entire bill for the current stadium for the next 17 years. No matter one’s politics or philosophy on public funding of sports facilities, we must do something (and do it now) to avoid that horrific outcome.
I have also come to understand not only the financial ‘irresponsibility’ of a renovation of the current stadium as the mayor mentions, but also the significant ‘upside’ of a new enclosed stadium. I noted with interest and pride that my fellow Nashvillians who serve in the state legislature voted unanimously to invest $500 million in state revenue in just such a facility.
Finally I want to quote Mayor’s Cooper’s final community commitment in its entirety: “Metro will work with the Titans to secure high-paying jobs, meaningful minority contractor participation, parks and green-space, affordable housing, and a welcoming environment for Nashville residents that incorporates the stadium into the community vision for the surrounding neighborhood.”
I and several other members of the Council for whom the attributes of any new stadium campus are critical have discussed these issues with both the mayor and the Titans. I believe that the broad multi-partner community benefits platform that the Titans have developed with their non-profit partners (that will soon be presented to the community) represent a wonderful continuation of the Titan’s and the Adams family’s commitment over 20 years to not only Tennessee and Nashville, but to those neighborhoods and citizens for whom the economic boom of the last few years has passed by.
As an At-Large-Council member, I have not always agreed with Mayor Cooper and his priorities. Frankly, that is not likely to change. But while this project will, of course, require a great deal of review and explanation, I am first and foremost a Nashvillian and thus I say, “Amen,” when an amen is earned. I applaud the mayor for his and his Administration’s work so far and support his “commitments” to the city wholeheartedly.