New facility mooted amid rising costs for Nissan Stadium revamp

Talks over a major redevelopment for Nissan Stadium, the home of NFL American football franchise the Tennessee Titans, have switched to a potential new stadium after the price tag for the initial project reportedly doubled in cost to at least $1.2bn (£882.2m/€1.06bn).

The latest news comes after the Titans last month spelled out its vision for a new-look Nissan Stadium, with an agreement reportedly set to be finalised to finance an overhaul of the venue, along with a new mixed-use district.

Nissan Stadium, owned by the Metro Sports Authority, opened in 1999 and has been the home of the Titans ever since. Plans reported last month outlined an investment of up to $600m in stadium upgrades over three seasons. Nissan Stadium would also be accompanied by a new neighbourhood and entertainment district, including enhanced transit connections and parks.

Officials from both the Titans and Nashville authorities have now said that the Nissan Stadium redevelopment talks have been put on hold after new studies show the renovations needed are greater than expected.

According to The Tennessean newspaper, recent construction and design studies revealed that key structural elements need to be fully replaced. Earlier research is said to have failed to account for new structural pipes, windows and other extensive upgrades.

Added costs are also said to incorporate complete replacements of the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems. Taking this into consideration, the initial $600m cost is now said to be at least $1.2bn.

“What we’ve discovered most recently is that the stadium has a lot more infrastructure needs than we originally anticipated,” said Titans spokeswoman Kate Guerra. “For example, the stadium’s structural frame was built with concrete and needs to be largely replaced with steel.”

She added: “When you consider the present and future needs of our current stadium, it’s possible that another path, such as a new, modern stadium that could better serve its community’s needs, might be a more responsible option to explored.”

Nashville’s Mayor, John Cooper, said the local authorities and the Titans are “evaluating the costs and benefits of multiple scenarios for the future of Nissan Stadium”.

He added: “Revised cost estimates require us to closely review whether a new stadium would be a better long-term financial decision for Nashville. We won’t settle for anything but the best-case scenario for Nashville.”

In December 2020, the Titans were said to be in advanced conversations with Nashville authorities concerning the redevelopment of a large area adjacent to Nissan Stadium. The two parties said the discussions aimed to secure the Titans’ future in Nashville and facilitate the creation of a new neighbourhood surrounding the facility.

Speaking yesterday (Thursday), Guerra said: “We remain committed to our original mission: find an elegant solution to upgrade the stadium to first-class, NFL-quality standards and remove Nashville’s general fund from stadium business once and for all through a re-imagination our current lease structure, which as it stands today, puts the burden of an aging stadium’s costs on the city and Nashville’s general taxpayer.”

Image: Michael Gaylard/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size