The Tennessee Titans’ plans for a new 60,000-seat stadium have cleared another hurdle after the Metro Nashville Sports Authority approved the project.
The Metro Sports Authority manages Nissan Stadium, the current home of the NFL team. The Titans agreed terms with Nashville and Davidson County Mayor John Cooper for a new enclosed stadium back in October.
The Metro Nashville Council will now assess the deal, and it is hoped that all steps will be finalised in the first three months of 2023. The council will vote on a new hotel tax that will help fund the construction of the new stadium, which will cost up to $2.2bn (£1.8bn/€2.1bn).
“We are excited about developing a new and creative relationship with the Titans,” Sports Authority chair Cathy Bender said, according to local newspaper The Tennessean. “I think there will be a lot of opportunities to make what we have even better.”
The terms of the deal agreed by the Titans and Mayor Cooper state that the Sports Authority will issue $760m in revenue bonds to fund the stadium, with this to be repaid through revenue streams such as tourism. The Titans, the NFL and personal seat license sales will provide $840m in funding, with $500m to come from the one-time state contribution.
When announcing the deal in October, the Titans said the agreement would relieve a nearly $2bn burden on taxpayers by voiding the team’s current lease deal to play at Nissan Stadium. That lease deal, signed in 1996, legally obligates Nashville to provide a “first-class” stadium for the Titans until 2039.
The new stadium will be built directly east of Nissan Stadium on land that is currently parking lots. Metro Council would regain control of over 66 acres of land, including the existing Nissan Stadium site.
As well as serving as the home of the Titans, the new stadium will host up to four Tennessee State University games each year. The university will have a dedicated locker room at the stadium and will pay no rent as part of the deal.
The stadium will encompass 1.7 million square feet and feature a 12,000-square-foot dedicated community space that can be used year-round for educational opportunities, non-profit events and other community-minded purposes.
The Titans have not yet selected an architect of record for the stadium, which will set a goal of achieving a US Green Building Council LEED Gold certification. A full architectural design process for the stadium will begin at a later date.