NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) – On Tuesday (October 17), The Tennessee Titans and the city of Nashville officially announced a deal to build a new, enclosed stadium that would relieve Nashville taxpayers of nearly $2 billion by voiding the current lease agreement.
The new stadium will fit between 55,000 to 60,000 spectators and attract events such as the Super Bowl, the NCAA College Football Playoffs, NFL Combine, concerts by the world’s top performers, and create an atmosphere for CMA Fest that has never been seen before. The planned, enclosed arena will guarantee an inclement weather-free experience for Titans fans and concert-goers.
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 public facility consulting firm, to assess the condition of Nissan and estimate Metro’s financial obligation to the Titans. VSG estimates that renovating and maintaining Nissan 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, as reported on the TN Titans website.
This monumental deal will be paid for by a sales tax in Nissan Stadium, marking a 130-acre radius around the stadium’s campus, and a 7 percent hotel occupancy tax in Davidson County. No money from the city’s general fund will go toward the stadium’s construction.
In addition, The Titans have agreed 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 the current stadium. This represents $62 million in additional unfunded liabilities relieved as part of the agreement.
“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,” Cooper noted in his press conference. “Doing nothing was not a legal option for us, and renovating the current stadium proved 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.”
Funding for the new stadium comes from four separate revenue sources.
Sources of Funding For the New Stadium:
Football-Related Sources: Titans, NFL (subject to final NFL approval), and PSL sales ($840 million)
State: A one-time contribution ($500 million) contingent on the building of a new, enclosed stadium
Hospitality: Tourists and visitors through a new 1% hotel/motel tax contingent on the building of a new, enclosed stadium
Stadium/Campus: Sales and use taxes are collected at the stadium and campus.
$840 million for the new stadium, and any construction overruns will come from the Titans, NFL, and PSL sales. $500 million will come from the one-time state contribution. The remaining $760 million will come from revenue bonds issued by the Metro Sports Authority to be repaid through the revenue streams described above, all of which, per state statute, can only be used for this project or other stadium-related costs.
“I’m grateful to Amy Adams Strunk, Burke Nihill, and the entire Titans organization for their commitment to Nashville,” Cooper added. “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 Governor [Bill] 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.”
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.
The Titans have agreed to maintain and backstop upkeep over the life of the lease, and Metro will own the stadium when the lease expires.
“Nashville’s new stadium will be a game changer for the community, enhancing the national and international reputation of our great city and state and delivering world-class events to our doorstep that we could never have dreamed of 25 years ago,” says Titans President and CEO, Burke Nihill. “We couldn’t be more appreciative of Mayor Cooper’s commitment to prioritizing the taxpayers of Nashville and his vision for a bold future on the East Bank. We look forward to the discussion of these terms with Metro Council and the Sports Authority and hearing from our neighbors in the community as this process continues.”
- The planned stadium will host up to four Tennessee State University (TSU) home games each year, and they will not be required to pay any rent.
- The Titans have agreed to cover any construction cost overages.
- Local businesses, goods, and labor will be prioritized in construction and vendor contracts.
- The new lease will run for a minimum of 30 years, and the new stadium could be ready as early as the 2026 NFL season.