TN Titans Strike Deal for $2.2B Stadium
The National Football League’s Tennessee Titans of Nashville recently announced that they’ve reached an agreement with the city’s mayor for the construction of a new stadium.
According to ESPN, the 1.7-million-square-foot domed stadium will cost up to $2.2 billion to build.
As reported in The Tennessean, negotiations for a new stadium have been ongoing since February. Originally, the team and the city were hoping to renovate the existing 23-year-old Nissan Stadium and had been discussing the project for years.
However, this idea was recently abandoned after the cost of the project was estimated to be $1.8 billion, exceeding expectations by more than $600 million. In further assessments of the current stadium’s condition, Venue Solutions Group shared that Nissan Stadium obligations would cost the city—who is responsible for the structure’s maintenance—between $1.75 billion and $1.9 billion over the remaining 17 years of the lease.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper has struck a deal with the Tennessee Titans to build a new domed stadium, per @tnnaterau.— Front Office Sports (@FOS) October 17, 2022
If approved by Metro Council, the new venue will be located east of Nissan Stadium, near I-24, and cost up to $2.2 billion. pic.twitter.com/g2Cheslmpw
In April, the Titans submitted a proposal for the construction of a new stadium, slated to be built adjacent to the Nissan Stadium. In the proposal, the team shared that its approved budget authorizes the state to issue $500 million in bonds for the project (after an agreement is reached between Titans’ owners and the city of Nashville).
In later reports, it was shared that $840 million for the project would come directly from the Titans, in addition to personal seat license sales and the NFL (pending the League’s approval).
The remaining $760 million would be funded by Metro Sports Authority revenue bonds, which are backed by a 1% countywide hotel occupancy tax, in-stadium sales taxes and half of the state and local sales tax revenues from a 130-acre area surrounding the stadium. The tax revenues collected would be used for debt service, stadium maintenance and infrastructure costs.
An ongoing study commissioned by Metro Council to estimate the cost of Metro's current obligations is expected to be complete by Nov. 1.
As part of the deal, the Titans would absorb approximately $62 million owed by the city for outstanding maintenance obligations and remaining bond debt under the current stadium lease. In addition, the team would also be responsible for any construction cost overruns and maintenance obligations if the sales tax revenue underperforms at any point throughout the 30-year lease.
Reports indicate that the $2.1 billion price tag for the new facility would include any costs associated with the demolition of Nissan Stadium and completing any new stadium-related infrastructure.
At the time the proposal was made, the Titans shared that while the team had not hired an architect for the stadium project, the draft concept was estimated to take roughly 31 months to complete after formal funding and designs were in place.
“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 Nashville Mayor John 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.”
New Stadium Details
In what could be the largest deal of its kind in Nashville’s history, the new enclosed Tennessee Titans’ stadium still needs approval from the city’s 40-member Metro Council before construction can officially break ground.
However, that has not stopped those involved from sharing several plans and designs for the future sports facility.
According to reports, the new enclosed stadium is slated to feature a translucent, stationary roof and turf playing surfaces. Having a covered structure, the new stadium would be equipped to better accommodate games regardless of weather conditions, and would also improve the city’s ability to compete for other major sports events such as the Super Bowl, college football playoffs, World Cup soccer games and the NCAA’s men’s basketball Final Four.
Capacity for the stadium is eyeing upwards of 60,000 people.
“We are trying to build the smartest building, one that can be built on budget and one that will make Nashville and Tennessee proud for decades and decades to come,” said Titans President and CEO Burke Nihill.
In a statement, Nihill added that the facility’s design will take cues from Nashville’s character and that the project was a “win-win-win scenario” for the city, team and others involved.
In addition to the new facility, Titans’ owners see the new stadium as a hub for a four-million-square-foot to six-million-square-foot campus of retail, office and residential buildings. If approved, the team would build out over 10 to 15 years.
When approved, the latest NFL stadium project for the Titans would be a continuation of the League’s recent trend toward multipurpose venues. In 2020, the franchise opened the $5.5 billion SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and the $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.