Apr 19, 2023 - News

Metro Council advances Titans stadium plan

The Tennessee Titans take the filed for their game against the Chicago Bears at Nissan Stadium on November 08, 2020

The Tennessee Titans take the field at Nissan Stadium in 2020. Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Metro Council gave critical approval Tuesday to Mayor John Cooper's proposed $2.1 billion financing plan for a new Titans stadium.

  • After five hours of debate, the final margin early Wednesday morning was 25-11. The stadium is now one vote away from final approval.

Why it matters: Second reading is regarded as the decisive vote for Metro proposals because it's the last chance to make major changes to legislation.

  • The stadium is the most expensive public project in Nashville's history, and the plan calls for the most public money ever committed to a pro sports venue in the U.S.
  • While the Titans will be the main tenant, the team and Nashville's tourism leaders envision the stadium hosting Super Bowls, Final Fours, Wrestlemanias, premier college football games and many more concerts.

State of play: Council made a substantial change to the financing plan, approving a proposal to funnel 3% of the ticket revenue for concerts and non-Titans sporting events to the city's general fund. Cooper's administration estimates the proposal will create $120 million for the city over 30 years.

  • An earlier proposal from Councilmember Brandon Taylor sought to divert up to 10%, but that amendment was trumped by council backing the proposal by Councilmember Jennifer Gamble.

What he's saying: Metro Councilmember Brett Withers, who represents the area, argued on the council floor that the existing lease at Nissan Stadium is harmful to the city. A new stadium financed by tourists and stadium users is a better arrangement, he said.

  • "I believe the lease that's been vetted for about nine months now is a much better deal than what we have presently," Withers said. "And, in fact, it is probably one of the best negotiations we've ever had in the history of Nashville."

What's next: A public hearing and a final vote are scheduled for April 25.

Data: Nashville mayor's office; Chart: Axios Visuals

By the numbers: The stadium will be funded with $840 million in financing from the Titans, including the sale of personal seat licenses to season ticket holders.

  • An additional $500 million will come from state bonds, approved by Gov. Bill Lee and the legislature last year.
  • $760 million will come from the city through a 1% hotel room tax, sales tax collected within the new stadium and 50% of the sales tax collected at the surrounding mixed-use development. The sales tax money can also be used to pay for stadium-related infrastructure like parking.
  • New property taxes and new sales taxes generated by the stadium campus will bring at least $995 million to Metro over 30 years, according to an analysis by Cooper's administration.

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