New Tennessee Titans stadium could be ready by 2026 season, officials say

Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Titans President & CEO Burke Nihill announce an agreement for a new stadium for the football team.
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 8:06 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2022 at 2:00 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – The Tennessee Titans could have a new home in Nashville, and it could be ready as early as the 2026 NFL season.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper and the Tennessee Titans have announced they have agreed to terms for a new stadium with a price tag of more than $2 billion. The deal requires Nissan Stadium be demolished and the new stadium be built on nearby lots.

The plan will have to be approved by Metro Council.

If approved, the stadium will be an enclosed dome without a retractable roof, officials said. However, the roof will be translucent, and the stadium will have a glass side wall that can be opened.

The Titans will play on turf rather than grass. Naming rights have not yet been determined. The stadium would be able to hold 55,000 to 60,000 fans.

Cooper emphasized at a Monday afternoon press conference Metro Nashville taxpayers would not have to foot the bill for the new stadium. Rather, a large chunk of the new stadium’s cost will come from the state legislature, while the remaining funds will come from the Titans and an increase in local tourism taxes.

“Asking Nashville residents to again shoulder the burden of paying for a stadium is not something that I was willing to do,” Cooper said.

A consulting group found that renovating and maintaining Nissan Stadium would cost between $1.75 billion and $1.95 billion over the remaining 17 years of the current stadium’s lease. This would require the use of local taxpayer dollars, so building a new stadium instead made sense, officials said.

“This new stadium proposal protects Metro taxpayers by not spending a single dollar that could be spent elsewhere on our core priorities like education and public safety,” Cooper said. “Doing nothing was not a legal option for us, and renovating the current stadium proved to be financially irresponsible, so we are proposing a new stadium paid for by the team, the state, tourists and spending around the stadium – not by your family.”

According to a media release from Mayor Cooper’s office, $840 million for the new stadium will come from the Titans, NFL and personal seat license sales.

The state legislature will provide a one-time contribution of $500 million. The remaining $760 million will come from revenue bonds issued by the Metro Sports Authority to be repaid through different revenue streams, like a new 1% hotel tax and sales taxes collected at the new stadium and its campus.

Costs of stadium-related infrastructure and demolition of the old stadium are built into the deal.

“This new agreement is the win-win-win scenario we always believed was possible,” Titans President and CEO Burke Nihill said.

The new stadium will also feature other events, such as CMA Fest, concerts, and potentially major sporting events like the Super Bowl, college football playoff games, WrestleMania and more, according to local officials. The stadium will be home to four Tennessee State University home games a year.

“The stadium will be the people’s house. Schools will have educational opportunities in rooms designed for that purpose. High school football teams will play their biggest games on the same field as their NFL heroes,” Nihill said.

Lauren Lowrey and WSMV sports anchor Chris Harris discuss the plans for a new stadium for the Tennessee Titans and what it means for the city.

Cooper said the new deal delivered on seven goals he made a commitment to about a new stadium.

  • Wouldn’t raise sales tax or property tax
  • Titans and visitors to the campus would be the primary source for stadium construction
  • The Titans, not taxpayers, would cover any construction cost overruns.
  • Unlike in the current lease, the Titans would take on the financial responsibility of maintaining the stadium.
  • No public lane would be sold to finance the stadium.
  • The campus would provide high-paying jobs, green space and affordable housing.
  • Any new agreement would result in the Titans staying in Nashville for the long haul.

“Now it can serve the whole city with a large park, greenways, affordable housing and a north-south transit spine that would be a huge help to anyone getting around on our inner loop,” Cooper said.

With the current plan, the city will own the stadium when its lease is up after a minimum of 30 years. City and Titans leadership have not announced when construction will start on the new stadium.

“When my father brought this team to Tennessee 25 years ago, I don’t think he could have imagined a better home for our organization,” said Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, in a statement. “The way the people of Tennessee have embraced this team as their own is truly something special, and I am thrilled that with this new agreement, we will cement our future here in Nashville for another generation.”

Nissan Stadium opened in 1999 as the Tennessee Titans’ home and also plays home to Tennessee State University’s football team. Additionally, the Nissan Stadium has become a premier music venue with numerous artists performing on field stages over the years.

Cooper said with this proposal the Titans would also waive the $32 million of outstanding maintenance bills owed on Nissan Stadium and the team has agreed to pay off the remaining $30 million in stadium bonds.

A letter with terms of the deal is headed to the Metro Sports Authority, which meets on Thursday morning, and Metro Council.

The proposed stadium deal will have to be approved on three readings by the Council before becoming official.

Mayor John Cooper and Titans CEO & President Burke Nihill announce plans for new stadium.