Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Nashville council approves new $2.1B Tennessee Titans stadium, to open in 2027

 By Jon Styf , The Center Square, April 26, 2023 - The Tennessee Titans will have a new $2.1 billion stadium in 2027 after the deal to fund the stadium was approved by Metro Nashville’s Council on its third and final vote at a special meeting that stretched into Wednesday morning.

The final vote was 26-12 for the stadium project with Council member Delishia Porterfield voting for the bill in order to attempt a procedural reconsideration of the vote that would have created another vote on the bill at the council’s May 2 meeting.

The attempt failed on technical grounds after four hands were not immediately raised to support the reconsideration and Vice Mayor Jim Shulman called on another council member.

The stadium deal will include $760 million in revenue bonds from Nashville’s stadium authority and $500 million from the state of Tennessee along with $840 million that will come from an NFL G-4 loan, personal seat license sales and the Titans.

The plan includes what is estimated to be $3.1 billion in captured taxes to pay an estimated $1.4 billion in debt service on the revenue bonds and pay for everything from future capital expenses to maintenance to infrastructure such as parking decks around the project.

The tax capture includes a year-round 1% Davidson County hotel tax, 100% of state and local sales tax for sales at the stadium, a $3 ticket tax for stadium events and 50% of state and local taxes in a 130-acre zone drawn around the new stadium. The deal also includes the demolition of Nissan Stadium.

Council member Ginny Welsch and those who argued against the deal said that Nashville could do better and that the urgency on getting the deal passed was manufactured.

“If we pass this tonight, we are tying the hands of a new mayor to a lame duck," Welsch said.

Tuesday night’s meeting began with nearly five hours of public comment on the deal. Everyone from Tennessee State football coach and former Titans running back Eddie George to hospitality business owners to Titans staff spoke in support of the deal while many more Nashville residents came to the meeting to speak against the deal.

Time was extended by nearly an hour from the initial four-hour public comment period to allow everyone in the line to speak for two minutes apiece.

Council member Zulfat Suara said that she was voting for the deal to help Nashville residents and she believed that the new deal would protect the city’s taxpayers from having their property taxes used for a stadium and instead the deal uses money from the state and tourists paying sales tax to pay for the stadium.

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