Nate Rau
May 20, 2022 - Sports

Report: Stadium lease would cost city $1.8B

Nissan Stadium
Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

It would cost Metro $1.8 billion through 2039 to fulfill its obligations to the Tennessee Titans under the current lease agreement at Nissan Stadium, according to a report the team presented to the Sports Authority on Thursday.

Why it matters: The obligation of the current lease deal is a crucial comparison because the Titans and Mayor John Cooper are negotiating a deal to build a new enclosed stadium next to Nissan.

Nate Rau
May 18, 2022 - Sports

"Clerical error" increases Titans stadium project estimate

Nissan Stadium.
Nissan Stadium. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Three days after Mayor John Cooper's administration filed the capital improvement budget showing a new Titans stadium project would cost $2 billion, officials told Metro Council the actual dollar figure was $2.2 billion.

  • Metro Council members were alerted to the clerical error during Monday's budget and finance committee meeting.
Nate Rau
May 16, 2022 - Sports

Budget shows new Titans stadium estimated to cost $2B

Photo illustration of Nashville Mayor John Cooper  with lines radiating from him.
Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Leah Puttkammer/Getty Images

The new Titans stadium project came into sharper focus last week.

  • Mayor John Cooper submitted his annual capital improvement budget showing the plan will cost $2 billion and wrote a Tennessean Op-Ed outlining the generic parameters of a deal.
Nate Rau
May 3, 2022 - Sports

Preds begin playoffs Tuesday night

Roman Josi #59 of the Nashville Predators skates with the puck against the Arizona Coyotes.
Roman Josi skates with the puck against the Arizona Coyotes. Photo: Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

The Predators begin their first-round playoff series Tuesday night at 8:30pm against the top-seeded Colorado Avalanche.

By the numbers: The Predators are looking to recapture the magic of their 2017 playoff run, when they overcame being a lower seed to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.

Nate Rau
Apr 27, 2022 - Sports

Reese Witherspoon, Derrick Henry become MLS team owners

closeup runway image of Reese Witherspoon at an awards show of some sort
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Oscar-winning actor Reese Witherspoon and Titans star Derrick Henry have joined the Nashville SC ownership group, the franchise announced Tuesday.

  • Witherspoon's husband, the media and technology investor Jim Toth, also joined the ownership group.

Why it matters: The celebrities' investments provide another jolt of positivity for the franchise in advance of Sunday's sold-out home opener at Geodis Park. The team did not disclose the new investors' ownership percentages.

What they're saying: "As a Tennessee native, it is thrilling to see how much growth and development has come to our home state," Witherspoon said in a press release. "One of the things that my whole family is most excited about is Nashville Soccer Club!"

  • Henry said in the release that as a kid he imagined one day owning a pro sports franchise. The running back called the opportunity to do so with a Major League Soccer franchise a "dream come true."
  • "My investment in Nashville SC is way more than financial, it's truly an investment in the city of Nashville," Henry said.

Be smart: With Geodis Park set to officially open this weekend, check out Axios reporter Maxwell Millington's guide to where to eat and drink around the stadium.

Nate Rau
Apr 26, 2022 - Sports

Expert analysis: Predators' playoff chances

Nashville predators players in gold/yellow uniforms celebrating a goal
Predators players during the game Sunday. Photo: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

With the Nashville Predators on the brink of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, we talked with Adam Vingan, beat reporter for the Athletic, about where things stand heading into the home stretch.

Axios: What are the Preds' chances of reaching the playoffs?

Vingan: "They have three games left in the regular season, and basically it's three teams for two spots — the Predators, the Dallas Stars and the Vegas Golden Knights — in the wild card race in the Western Conference.

  • "As things stand this morning, the Predators have a 1-point lead over the Stars and a 4-point lead over the Golden Knights. ... The Stars and Golden Knights play each other [on Tuesday]. That'll help the Predators, since one of those teams is guaranteed to lose.
  • "The Predators are in prime position to qualify for the postseason for the eighth consecutive year."

Axios: What are the defining characteristics of this team?

Vingan: "They want to rely on their physicality to disrupt the other team. For a few years, preceding the coaching change they made in January 2020, it felt like you never knew what you were going to get from the Predators on a nightly basis. And now you do.

  • "They have four 60-point scorers for the first time in 15 years. They also have two 40-goal scorers, something they've never had up until this season.
  • "The predominant storyline this season has been the resurgence of those top players, namely Matt Duchene, Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen — all of whom had not been performing up to their capabilities in recent seasons. I think the genesis of that resurgence is the relationship those players have formed with [coach] John Hynes."

What's next: The Predators play at home Tuesday against Calgary, then they're at Colorado on Thursday and at Arizona on Friday to close the regular season.

Nate Rau
Apr 25, 2022 - Sports

Big week for Titans stadium financing proposals

zoomed out image of Nissan Stadium in Nashville
Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Gov. Bill Lee's proposal for the state to commit $500 million in bonds for a new indoor stadium cleared the legislature Thursday after some complicated legislative maneuvering.

Why it matters: The new stadium will cost about $2 billion, and it's hard to imagine a scenario in which the project comes to fruition without the hotel-motel tax funds.

  • The legislation would allow the city to increase its tax on hotel-motel rooms from 6% to 7%.
  • A fiscal note attached to the bill estimates the 1 percentage point increase will generate about $10 million annually. But Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. CEO Butch Spyridon told Axios recently the proposal would actually create up to twice that each year by the time the increase takes effect.

Yes, but: The hotel-motel tax increase is hardly a sure thing. Conservative lawmakers argued raising tourism taxes mainly affects constituents statewide who travel to Nashville.

  • Other lawmakers, such as Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station), argued the stadium project ought to be privately financed.
  • Spyridon says Nashville's hotel sector supports the increase because it will generate more revenue for their businesses in the long run.

What's next: The hotel-motel tax bill is scheduled to be considered by the full House on Monday and in the Senate finance committee on Wednesday.

Nate Rau
Apr 13, 2022 - Sports

Scoop: Major piece of Titans stadium financing plan emerges

Nissan Stadium.
Nissan Stadium. Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

State lawmakers are expected to soon consider legislation that would allow Nashville to increase its hotel-motel tax and use that newly generated revenue to help pay for a new Titans stadium, according to documents obtained by Axios.

  • Nashville's hotel-motel tax is currently 6%, but state law allows the rate to go as high as 8%. This proposal would raise it to 7%.

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