NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans have the final piece of funding for the NFL’s next expensive stadium with the largest public investment yet, which they plan to open for the 2027 season.
Metro Nashville City Council approved by a 26-12 vote early Wednesday morning in the final reading to allow its athletic agency to issue $760 million in bonds. When combined with $500 million in government bonds, that makes more than $1.2 billion in public funding earmarked for the Titans’ closed stadium.
That’s Tennessee’s highest public price for a stadium, beating New York’s $850 million pledge for the Buffalo Bills’ new $1.5 billion stadium.
The total cost of the stadium is estimated at $2.1 billion. The Titans, with help from the NFL and personal licenses, will provide the remaining $840 million. The new stadium will have a translucent roof with a capacity of around 60,000.
Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk thanked everyone involved.
“Nashville, Tennessee has been the home of the Titans for more than 25 years, and with the approval of the new stadium agreement, we are grateful to know that the Titans will be a part of this great city and state for decades to come. ‘ Strunk said in a statement.
The council meeting began Tuesday night with two hours each for taxpayers to argue for and against the proposal to use Nashville’s power of attorney to pay for a second stadium for the privately owned NFL team. The council took about six hours before a final vote was held.
In this stadium, Nashville and the Titans can bid for a Super Bowl, Final Fours, college football playoff games and more. Burke Nihill, Titans President and CEO, said they are excited about the opportunity to host some of the world’s premier events.
“This is a generational opportunity to address our city’s priorities and ensure its health and vitality for the next 30 years,” said Nihill. “Our city and state have a bright future ahead of us, and we’re honored to continue to be a part of it.”
The deal shifts an estimated $1.8 billion in costs for future maintenance and stadium investments through 2039 from Nashville taxpayers to the NFL franchise, which is also on the brink of over-budget and maintenance costs instead the local taxpayers.
In the deal, the Titans agreed to waive $32 million owed by Nashville for money they spent maintaining Nissan Stadium over the past four years. The Titans will also pay off the remaining $30 million in bonds owed for the current stadium.
A new hotel/motel tax of 1%, all sales tax in the stadium and 50% of the sales tax of 130 acres around the stadium will redeem the bonds. The Titans and city officials announced an agreement in December that includes a new 30-year lease. The team agreed not to leave Nashville during this lease.
Nashville hired an independent consulting firm that confirmed the Titans’ estimate of what the city would pay for maintenance of the stadium under the lease signed in 1996. Venue Solutions Group agreed that the renovation of the current stadium would cost between $1.75 billion and $1.95 billion over the years remaining on the lease.
The Titans have cleared money for their portion of the stadium, with team officials hoping to lay the groundwork to open the 2027 season by mid-2024. Strunk was already paying for the team headquarters expansion, which essentially doubled the size of the building that opened in August 1999.
Nissan Stadium originally opened in 1999 as the Adelphia Coliseum. That deal cost $292 million and convinced franchise founder Bud Adams, who died in 2013, to move his Oilers from Houston to Tennessee in 1997.
The new stadium will be built on the parking lots between the current stadium and Interstate 24. The deal returns control of 66 acres, including the current site of Nissan Stadium, to Nashville. City officials are planning a renovation that will include a park, green walkways, affordable housing, and a new street.
Nashville hosted the 2019 NFL Draft, which drew about 600,000 people over three days.