Scoop: Tennessee Titans explore new stadium

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Nissan Stadium renovation talks between Mayor John Cooper’s administration and the Tennessee Titans have expanded in recent weeks to include the possibility of building a new stadium, multiple sources told Axios.

Why is this important: A new stadium would be a spectacular centerpiece in the team’s larger plan to transform the waterfront in East Nashville with an ambitious mixed-use redevelopment project.

  • The emergence of a possible new stadium resets the negotiations that have been going on for months.

Driving the news: Renovation talks recently took a turn when both sides discovered that the price of necessary upgrades at Nissan had unexpectedly skyrocketed.

  • The Tennessean announced earlier this month that the price for renovations to the 23-year-old Nissan Stadium was $600 million, but a Titans spokesperson told Axios the actual cost is now estimated at $600 million. nearly double.
  • The Titans have confirmed that due to rising cost estimates, “we need to take a step back and re-evaluate whether renovating a stadium is the most responsible option and explore other avenues”.
  • “For example, the stadium’s framework was constructed of concrete and needs to be largely replaced with steel. The mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems need to be completely replaced. The window system throughout the building is so outdated that it’s not even made anymore.”

What he says : Cooper acknowledged in a statement to Axios that “the revised cost estimates force us to take a hard look at whether a new stadium would be a better long-term financial decision.”

  • “We won’t settle for anything less than the best-case scenario for Nashville,” Cooper said.

Between the lines: Under the current lease between the Titans and the Metro Nashville Sports Authority, the city must pay for maintenance and keep the stadium in a condition that matches similar venues across the country.

  • This obligation puts the city on the hook for millions of dollars in improvements. The Titans owe at least $25 million in stadium repairs that have already taken place.
  • The Titans say they’re tied to a new stadium lease that removes “Nashville’s general fund from (the) stadium business once and for all.”

What we are looking at: A series of unknowns remain as talks about a new stadium begin.

  • Officials did not say whether a new stadium would be covered with a dome, whether it would include a retractable roof or whether it would be an outdoor venue.

The plot: An indoor stadium would position Nashville to host the Super Bowl, NCAA Final 4 and winter concerts. This would increase the overall tax benefit for the city, but would also increase stadium costs.

  • Talks between the Titans and Cooper were progressing well, but it’s unclear how the prospect of a new stadium changes the timeline to get a deal done.
  • The original plan was to take advantage of a state law passed last year by using a portion of sales tax dollars generated from the new development to help pay for stadium upgrades.
  • This part of the plan would remain the same. But it’s possible the Titans will have to put more skin in the game for the funding to work.

Rollback: Titans main owner Amy Adams Strunk previously said she didn’t want a new stadium and preferred to fix Nissan instead.

  • But for those in the tourism industry, there has been some consternation that an outdoor stadium would limit Nashville’s ability to host the Super Bowl.
  • The NFL’s premier event is usually held indoors or in cities with warmer climates than Nashville, although there are exceptions, such as New York in 2014.

By the numbers: Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, opened in 2020 and cost around $2 billion.

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