Feb 22, 2022 - Sports

Reactions to potential new Titans stadium preview debate

Nissan Stadium from out front.
Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Immediate pushback against the possibility of building a new Tennessee Titans stadium instead of fixing up Nissan Stadium previews the pitfalls such a deal will face.

  • From the political left, leaders are asking what aspects of the project and surrounding mixed-use development will benefit the community.
  • From the right, an anti-tax group bashed taxpayer-funded stadiums as a "boondoggle."
  • And across the political spectrum, stakeholders questioned the optics of new football stadium talks emerging the same week curbside trash pickup ran late.

Why it matters: The feedback lays the groundwork for what could become many months of impassioned public debate.

Zoom out: The Titans and Mayor John Cooper discovered in recent weeks that the estimated cost to renovate Nissan Stadium, as had been discussed for many months, had risen so much that building a new stadium may make more financial sense.

  • Additionally, the Titans are pursuing an ambitious mixed-use development around Nissan Stadium and the city is in the midst of a broad east bank planning process.

What they're saying: Metro Councilmember Colby Sledge supported adding affordable housing as part of the fairgrounds soccer stadium project. He lamented in a tweet that he's "heard more about the window glazing at Nissan Stadium than how we're going to ensure any new Titans stadium plan includes thousands of units of affordable housing."

  • Tori Venable, director of the Tennessee chapter of Americans For Prosperity, said in a press release, "Nashville has more pressing issues than paying billions of dollars to replace a perfectly good stadium for billionaires."
  • Metro Councilmember Bob Mendes provided preliminary financial analysis of where things stand in a blog post on Monday that highlighted the current lease agreement, which puts the onus for maintaining Nissan Stadium on Metro.

Context: The Titans told Axios last week that ongoing negotiations would work to protect the city's general fund and remove the city from the "stadium business once and for all."

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