Aug 19, 2022 - News

Council, mayor inch closer to Titans stadium deal

An exterior photo of Nissan Stadium.
Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Titans and Mayor John Cooper's administration are inching closer to a financing plan for a new indoor stadium.

  • But a salient question hangs over the debate: What is the city's financial obligation under the terms of the current lease?

Driving the news: The Metro Council committee vetting the stadium deal held its third meeting yesterday.

  • Metro Sports Authority executive director Monica Fawknotson walked the committee through a 2017 study that concluded the city was on the hook for $293 million in maintenance and improvements.

Yes, but: Fawknotson explained the shortcomings of that study.

  • It didn't factor in an array of costs such as demolition and installation for new equipment, architectural fees, taxes and permits, or product markups.

The latest: The Titans attempted to estimate the city's current lease obligation with their own study released this spring. It found that meeting the terms of the lease would cost Metro $1.8 billion through 2039.

  • Critics, led by Councilmember Sean Parker, called for Metro to pay for an unbiased study examining those costs.
  • Fawknotson told the committee the city is close to finalizing an agreement with a firm to conduct that study.

What he's saying: Councilmember and committee chairperson Bob Mendes said during the meeting he'd like for the consultant to explain the difference between the new estimate and the original figure of $293 million.

  • "To me, at least, for the new work to be useful, there does need to be a reconciliation," Mendes says.
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