Sep 9, 2022 - Sports

New Titans season marked by push for new stadium

An exterior photo of Nissan Stadium.

Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The next three months will also set the course for the Titans' business operations.

Driving the news: In the coming weeks, it's expected the team and Cooper will announce an agreement to finance a new stadium on the East Bank.

Be smart: Some details about the financing proposal are already known.

  • Based on moves by Gov. Bill Lee and the General Assembly in the last two sessions, the stadium will be financed in part with hotel taxes collected from room rentals throughout Davidson County.
  • Sales tax collected from transactions inside a new stadium and from the surrounding campus, which Cooper wants to redevelop, would also be used.
  • In his amended budget passed during the session's final days, Lee included $500 million in state bonds.

Yes, but: It will be a slog for the Titans and Cooper to get the plan through the Metro Council, where influential Councilmember Bob Mendes has emerged as the project's chief skeptic.

  • Mendes chairs the stadium and East Bank committee, which will hear an update Wednesday from key parties about the status of negotiations.
  • He says the stadium is driving Cooper to pursue a more ambitious East Bank redevelopment plan in order to maximize sales tax collections and pay for the debt. He says taxpayers should be clear-eyed that it is the most public money ever committed to pay for an NFL stadium.
  • Critics say overemphasizing tourism at the expense of Nashville's affordability crisis is obtuse by city leadership.

The other side: Supporters say the current lease arrangement at Nissan Stadium creates a budget problem for the city government. The Titans estimated the burden to be $1.8 billion, but the council will receive a new consultant's report to verify if that projection is accurate.

  • They say the stadium will be paid for by fans who buy tickets to events, including top-level tourist attractions the city doesn't currently host. Backers say bringing a Super Bowl to Nashville would be likely if a domed stadium is built.
  • Nashville Convention and Tourism CEO Butch Spyridon tells Axios that if a stadium is built, the city will apply to host a college football playoff game. College football leaders have decided to expand the playoffs from four teams to 12 in the coming years, creating more chances for cities like Nashville to host games.

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