Home Local News Tennessee Titans and Metro reach historic deal

Tennessee Titans and Metro reach historic deal

New stadium will save taxpayers money, ease traffic, provide more green space

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Draft/Conceptual design of the new Titans stadium (photo courtesy of Tennessee Titans).

The Tennessee Titans have the mission ‘to win, serve, and entertain our fans, community, and one another by living through our values in everything we do.’  The latest agreement between the team and the city lives up to that standard.

Nashville/Davidson County Mayor John Cooper and the Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms for a new enclosed stadium that would relieve a nearly $2 billion burden on Nashville taxpayers by voiding the current lease agreement.

“I’m grateful to the Titans to step in and help us get to this much better solution,” said Mayor John Cooper.

The lease for Nissan Stadium, signed in 1996, legally obligates Nashville to provide a “first-class” stadium until 2039. The Mayor’s Office worked with Metro Council to hire Venue Solutions Group (VSG), an independent and nationally recognized public facility consulting firm, to assess the condition of Nissan Stadium and estimate Metro’s financial obligation to the Titans. VSG estimates that renovating and maintaining Nissan Stadium would cost between $1.75 billion and $1.95 billion over the remaining 17 years of the current stadium lease. This liability would require general fund dollars that could otherwise support essential priorities like public schools and first responders.

Faced with the challenge of a $1.75B-1.95B unfunded liability on an aging stadium, Mayor Cooper pursued other options to shift the cost off the general fund. After months of negotiation, and with a generous contribution from the Tennessee State Legislature, the city and team have agreed to terms that would bring a new, enclosed stadium to Nashville at no cost to the city’s general fund. The agreement unlocks two revenue sources that wouldn’t otherwise be available—investments from the state and the hospitality industry.

“This new stadium proposal protects Metro taxpayers by not spending a single dollar that could be spent elsewhere on our core priorities like education and public safety,” said Mayor Cooper. “Doing nothing was not a legal option for us, and renovating the current stadium proved to be financially irresponsible, so we are proposing a new stadium paid for by the team, the state, tourists, and spending around the stadium—not by your family.”

Additionally, the team agrees to waive $32 million of outstanding bills owed by the city for construction and maintenance performed on Nissan Stadium over the past four years. As part of the overall project budget, the team also agrees to pay off the remaining $30 million in bonds owed on Nissan Stadium. This represents $62 million in additional unfunded liabilities relieved as part of the agreement.

The proposed stadium would be built directly east of Nissan Stadium on land that is currently parking lots. As part of the proposal, Metro would regain control of over 66 acres of land, including the existing Nissan Stadium site. Land that would have remained surface parking for the next 17 years can now serve Nashville with a large park, greenways, affordable housing, a multi-modal boulevard, local businesses, and more—all without selling any public land.

“I’m grateful to Amy Adams Strunk, Burke Nihill, and the entire Titans organization for their commitment to Nashville,” said Cooper. “Residents’ tax dollars can go to core city services because the Titans have stepped up to cover future ongoing maintenance on the new stadium. I’d also like to thank Gov. Lee and our partners at the state legislature for recognizing the Titans’ enormous economic contributions. Together, we are making sure that the Titans stay in Tennessee for generations to come.”

“When my father brought this team to Tennessee 25 years ago, I don’t think he could have imagined a better home for our organization,” said Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk. “The way the people of Tennessee have embraced this team as their own is truly something special, and I am thrilled that with this new agreement, we will cement our future here in Nashville for another generation.”

One of the crown jewels of Mayor Cooper’s administration is going to be the revitalization and growth of the East Bank. Though the Titan’s stadium is not the largest part of the plan, one could argue that it is one of the most important.

“I’m grateful to the Titans to step in and help us get to this much better solution,” said Cooper. “The stadium is fantastic, but the east bank plan is going to be our future-serving all the neighborhoods that it can touch going forward.”

The new stadium will improve traffic flow, not just for games and events, but on a constant basis. 

A new boulevard will be built that will have the ability to take over 35,000 trips off of the interstate: the equivalent of adding an extra lane to I-24 and I-40.

“For the first time people living on Dickerson Road will have a way to get to the airport without getting on the interstate,” said Cooper. 

The stadium is also a catalyst for urban revival-repairing a lot of the damage created by the interstate.

“The great thing about this plan is it’s zero displacements,” said Mayor Cooper. “You’re taking an area of Nashville that is mostly parking lots and outmoded industrial facilities and you’re creating a new neighborhood and a new way to connect two neighborhoods that have been cut off to undo the damage that was created by I-24 and I-40 when it was built.”

The new stadium will be home to up to four Tennessee State University home games each year, and TSU will have a dedicated locker room in the facility. TSU will pay no rent under this new deal.

The new stadium will also feature other world-class, iconic events to take place right in our backyard, such as CMA Fest, concerts, and potentially major sporting events like the Super Bowl, NCAA Playoff Games, WrestleMania and more.

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