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Tennessee Titans given go-ahead for new US$2.1bn stadium

Mayor confirms funding agreement for new stadium which should keep NFL team in Nashville until 2029.

18 October 2022 Rory Jones

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The Tennessee Titans’ plans for a new US$2.1 billion domed stadium in Nashville have been approved by mayor John Cooper in a move that should keep the National Football League (NFL) franchise in the city until at least 2039.  

The funding deal, which Cooper announced, will see the Tennessee state legislature issue a US$500 million one-time bond. The US$840 million private financing element will come from the Titans, as well as the sale of personal seat licences and contributions from the NFL.

The remaining US$760 million will be funded via bonds issued by Nashville’s Metro Sports Authority, which are being backed by a new one per cent countywide hotel occupancy tax, in-stadium sales taxes, as well as half of the state and local sales tax revenues from a 130-acre area surrounding the stadium.

Pending the final seal of approval from the Metro Nashville City Council, the Titans will be able to break ground on the new development in 2023 and move from Nissan Stadium to their new home as early as the 2026 NFL season.

The Titans have played at Nissan Stadium since 1999, with the team’s current lease set to expire in 2028. To secure the new agreement, which sees the Titans agree to a 30-year lease on the venue, the franchise will be responsible for an estimated US$1.8 billion in future maintenance costs until 2039, shifting the costs away from Nashville taxpayers.

The deal will also see the Titans waive US$32 million owed by the city of Nashville for stadium maintenance costs over the last four years and pay off the remaining $30 million in bonds owed for Nissan Stadium.

Cooper said: “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.”

The construction of a domed stadium will enable Nashville to host events such as the Super Bowl, major college football and basketball playoff games, as well as major non-sporting events during winter.

“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,” said Amy Adams Strunk, controlling owner of the Tennessee Titans.

Burke Nihill, president and chief executive of the Tennessee Titans, added: “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.”

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