Enclosed Titan's stadium state funding up in the air
Gov. Lee's proposal to commit $500 million in bonds to a new, enclosed Titans stadium is in legislative limbo.
- The stadium funding was approved Wednesday by the crucial House finance committee but deleted from the budget by the Senate finance committee.
Why it matters: The legislative maneuvering jeopardizes a critical component of the plan to finance a new Titans stadium just one day after another component — the hotel-motel tax increase — was approved in a key committee.
💭 Nate's thought bubble: The amendment was expected among insiders after the Senate committee pushed back on Lee's proposal earlier this month.
- If the House and Senate pass different budget bills, as they are now on track to do, it creates an opportunity to later coalesce behind a single version.
- So it's possible the Senate will change course and ultimately put the funding back in the final budget.
What they're saying: Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, said during the committee hearing that he considers the Titans a "very good asset to the city and the state," before explaining why he supported deleting the funding.
- "We hear about economic impact, but I think studies have shown time and again that new stadiums do not significantly increase economic impact going forward," Hensley said. "The Titans are worth $2.6 billion … and I think if they need a new stadium, it should be built by private entities and not the taxpayers."
The other side: Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, said that while financing the new stadium is a complicated project, the proposed state contribution makes sense and the finance committee is acting "rashly."
- "There's a pretty clear trajectory of what we would be investing in and what the returns would be," Yarbro said.
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