Titans: $1.8B needed to upgrade Nissan Stadium

Titans Present cost of renovating Nissan Stadium vs. building a new one.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:55 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The top boss for the Tennessee Titans went on the record Thursday, saying the price tag to maintain Nissan Stadium through 2039 would cost taxpayers $1.8 billion.

That is the number Titans President and CEO Burke Nihill said is necessary to keep the stadium “first-class” as required by a lease that expires in 2029 but could be extended to 2039.

“This is giving the general public a window into things that we’ve had some suspicion about for a while which is doing nothing isn’t an option. We need to come up with a long-term solution,” Nihill said.

The $1.8 billion needed to upgrade Nissan Stadium is based on a third-party study requested by the Titans. It shows $900 million is needed to renovate Nissan Stadium and another $900 million to maintain it through 2039.

Nihill presented that study to the Metro Sports Authority on Thursday, bringing up the potential of a new stadium that the team and city have been considering for several months.

Nihill said the cost of a new enclosed stadium would be between $1.9-$2.2 billion, $500 million of that has been pledged by the state through revenue bonds. Nihill said Thursday that Titans ownership is pledging $700 million.

“With the current status quo, you can now potentially see why we’ve been so desperate to find a solution, and we do feel like we’re close,” Nihill said. “This is really meaningful progress.”

While there is no deadline when the Titans and the city could make a decision, Nihill said the Titans have already been in talks with an architect about a new stadium.

“We think Nashville is a place that’s high character, it’s got a soul, and we think that you can build a new building with those principles in mind and make a smart decision on budget and end up with something that’s amazing, the city’s proud of, and it’s not feature rich and expensive,” Nihill said.

TJ Ducklo, Chief Communications Officer and Senior Advisor for Mayor John Cooper, said the Mayor’s priority is to remove the tax burden on Nashville residents.

“The Mayor’s priority is to remove the tax burden on Nashville residents under the current stadium lease, which everyone acknowledges obligates Metro to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate the existing stadium, and then maintain it over the remainder of the lease,” Ducklo said in a statement.

“As outlined in our office’s op-ed last week, the point of negotiating a new deal with the Titans is to relieve the burden on the General Fund so that we can continue to make greater investments in the Mayor’s priorities for neighborhoods and families, including more tools to address affordable housing, combatting homelessness, investing in our schools and teachers and keeping our streets clean and safe. It’s important to remember the state’s $500M contribution and the additional revenue from the hotel-motel tax are both contingent upon building a new, enclosed stadium. We have no plans to commission another study to tell us what we already know: renovating the stadium would cost Nashvillians hundreds of millions of dollars.”

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