Writer: Joshua Andino
2 min read April 2023— Nashville’s sports ecosystem received a major boost as a new $2.1 billion stadium was approved Wednesday morning.
The Nashville Metro Council approved the funding and construction of a new enclosed stadium and home of the Tennessee Titans. The approval comes with $500 million in bonds from the state, $840 million from the Titans, NFL, and personal seat license sales, and an additional $760 million in city revenue bonds. The city bonds will be repaid through an increase in Nashville’s hotel and sales taxes generated by the stadium and its surrounding area.
“For more than 25 years, Nashville, Tennessee, has been the Titans’ home, and with the approval of the new stadium agreement, we are grateful to know the Titans will be a part of this great city and state for decades to come,” said Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, in a press release. “I remember the early days of our time here feeling all the promise and opportunity ahead, and I feel that same enthusiasm and excitement again today. We are thankful for the support of Mayor Cooper, Metro Council, the Sports Authority, the State of Tennessee, and most importantly, the people of Nashville and Tennessee as we all embark on this new chapter together.”
The approval is a major win for the Titans and the city. While critics may call the move pricey, Nashville Mayor John Cooper disagrees, who called the move a “huge win for Nashville taxpayers.” While the stadium is the largest public spending project in NFL history, proponents such as the Mayor argue that the new development will replace the city’s existing (and aging) Nissan stadium with a top of the line facility that will unlock new development opportunities across Nashville’s East Bank.
“We’ve eliminated a billion-dollar liability created by an aging stadium lease and created a platform for the city to thrive for decades. This was always about more than football. This vote unlocks the East Bank Vision for Nashville’s next generation,” said Cooper. “It enables a true smart growth plan for the decades ahead. It will expand our transit network, create affordable housing, build parks and civic space, activate the waterfront, and drive resilience and sustainability,” he added.
Cooper added that the new stadium would provide a transformative north-south avenue, remove cars from the streets and provide dedicated bus lanes to help ease congestion, as well as the job opportunities created by ancillary industries around the new stadium. Traffic congestion has become increasingly severe for the city, with little relief in sight. “This is how a city effectively manages growth. It creates a bright future for Nashville, and I’m grateful for Metro Council’s support and confidence in this plan.”
While approval was finally granted, the real work is now expected to begin. Construction will likely start in 2024 for the estimated 1.75 million-square-foot arena, which is expected to hold around 60,000. The year-round venue will host Super Bowls, NCAA Final Fours, College Football Playoffs, Wrestlemanias and other events, and solidify Nashville’s status as a thriving sports industry.
“Today marks a huge milestone for both the Tennessee Titans organization and the City of Nashville as we move forward with plans for a new stadium,” said Burke Nihill, Tennessee Titans President & CEO. “We are extremely excited about this building’s ability to host the world’s best and greatest events, but this agreement is about so much more than a stadium. This is a generational opportunity to address our city’s priorities and ensure its health and vitality for the next 30 years. Our city and our state have bright futures ahead, and we’re humbled by the opportunity to continue to be a part of it.”
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