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Design & Development

Mayor, Titans present final stadium agreement

Featured image credit: Manica Architecture

The Tennessee Titans and Mayor of Nashville John Cooper have presented a final proposal for a new $2.1bn (£1.7bn/€2bn) stadium project for the NFL team.

The Mayor’s office confirmed on Friday that legislation has been filed for an agreement with the Titans for a new enclosed stadium that would have a capacity of 60,000.

The latest development comes after Cooper in December hailed a vote by Nashville Metro Council on the proposed new stadium as “an enormous step toward a better future” for Nashville.

The Tennessean has reported that the documents submitted by Cooper’s office will be considered by the council on March 7, with the legislation to require three readings.

In a statement reported by the newspaper, Cooper said: “I’m proud of this deal because it eliminates the enormous liability hanging over the city and returns valuable land back to Metro so we can build new affordable housing, beautiful parks and greenways, a powerful transit hub that reconnects neighbourhoods and so much more.

“This is a win for Nashville, and I’m grateful to our partners at the state and the entire team who has worked tirelessly for over a year to get it done.”

In December, the Council voted 27-8 in favour of approving preliminary terms on the stadium deal, while a 27-5 vote backed the introduction of a 1% hotel tax increase to help finance the project, should it go ahead. It marked the first significant Council votes on the proposal.

The Tennessean noted that the agreement filed on Friday includes feedback from the Council and community members, as well as details of new street and plaza infrastructure that would be covered by the Titans.

The Titans agreed terms with Cooper for a new enclosed stadium back in October. The Titans’ plans cleared another hurdle in December after the Metro Nashville Sports Authority approved the project. The Sports Authority manages Nissan Stadium, the current home of the team.

Also in December, NFL owners approved a combination of loans and grants worth $200m for the proposed new stadium. The investment represents 10% of the projected cost for the stadium.

The $2.1bn project would include the largest public spending contribution on an NFL stadium to date. While around $840m will be privately funded, through the likes of the team and the $200m NFL contribution, the Metro Sports Authority will contribute $760m through revenue bonds to be paid using methods such as the hotel tax. The state will also contribute $500m in bonds.

When announcing the original deal, 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.