Dec 20, 2022 - News

Metro Council approves term sheet for new Titans stadium

A rendering of the proposed new Titans stadium

A rendering of the proposed Titans stadium. Image courtesy of the Tennessee Titans

A $2.1 billion indoor stadium for the Tennessee Titans received critical backing Tuesday from the Metro Council, which approved a landmark deal between Mayor John Cooper and the team.

  • Council still must approve the finer details in the coming months, but Tuesday's vote on the overall package likely ensures a new stadium will open in 2026.

Why it matters: Since the Music City Center convention hall was approved in 2010, Nashville's tourism industry has skyrocketed. Tourism leaders foresee even more growth with the nation's most lucrative sports and entertainment events flocking to Nashville after the new stadium opens.

Between the lines: As Cooper readies a likely re-election bid, the council's support of his term sheet with the Titans is his most consequential legislative accomplishment to date.

  • Council approved the agreement by a vote of 27-8.

The big picture: The new stadium would anchor a revitalized East Bank, where Cooper's administration is pitching new roads, sidewalks, greenways and bike lanes amid hundreds of acres of mixed-use development.

What he's saying: Cooper celebrated the successful vote as a benefit to taxpayers. He has argued tourists, fans and shoppers at the surrounding campus will be the ones paying for the stadium.

  • "This deal is about way more than football. It’s about what is best for Nashville’s financial future," Cooper said.

State of play: The Titans' new stadium would receive more total taxpayer funding — $1.26 billion — than any NFL stadium project ever. By comparison, the recently approved $1.4 billion Buffalo Bills project comes with $850 million in taxpayer money.

The other side: Critics doubled down on their opposition during the meeting. Metro Councilmember Bob Mendes reiterated his concerns that there are too many unknowns to pass the deal now.

  • Skeptics also wonder why Nashville leaders move heaven and earth for a football stadium while chronic problems like homelessness, affordable housing and an inadequate public transportation system persist.
  • "Where are our priorities as a city?" Councilmember Delishia Porterfield, who voted against the term sheet, asked. "Is our priority going to be to have the biggest, and the best and the Cadillac of NFL stadiums when we know that we have para-professionals that have to choose between gas and lunch; we have firefighters running three to a truck because they can't run the industry-standard of four to a truck ... we have constituents dying ... because we don't have sidewalks in our community?"

Learn more about how the new stadium will be financed and why some council members are worried about the plan.

Read the Metro Council office's analysis of the term sheet.

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