NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee plans to offer $500 million in bonds in the state budget to help fund a new Tennessee Titans indoor stadium being considered for Nashville, confirmed two sources at the Associated Press.
Both people know the details of the governor’s funding amendment and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the governor’s budget amendment has not been released. It is slated for public debate Tuesday before Tennessee lawmakers, who are also expected to approve the proposed government bond authorization.
The funding would complete a piece of the puzzle for the Titans, who have gone from trying to upgrade the existing Nissan Stadium to planning a new stadium next door after renovation costs more than doubled to 1.2 billion of dollars. Nashville Mayor John Cooper has scaled back expectations for any potential government funding of the metro, saying earlier this month that “fundamentally the city is not in the entertainment business or the stadium itself. -same”.
The sources mentioned plans for the new stadium would include some kind of roof, with one source saying funding would depend on the stadium closing. A covered stadium, whether it’s a fixed or retractable roof, could help Nashville compete for the biggest sporting and non-sporting events, from the Super Bowl to NCAA basketball’s Final Four. Axios Nashville first reported on the Governor’s proposed funding for the new stadium.
The push comes like the The Buffalo Bills reached an agreement on Monday for a $1.4 billion new outdoor stadium project, fueled by a record $850 million taxpayer award to help secure the franchise’s future in the region for the next 30+ years .
The Bills and Titans stadiums, and the rising prices to fund such projects, will no doubt reignite arguments about whether taxpayers should be responsible for new high-end sports facilities.
Earlier this month, Titans chairman Burke Nihill discussed the team’s plans at a Metro Sports Authority board meeting, according to The Tennessian. The Titans are currently working with Metro Nashville officials on the design and construction costs of a new stadium in the Nissan parking lots between the stadium and Interstate 24.
Nihill noted that inflation is driving up costs, and Nashville and the Titans want to finish the job in time for the 2026 season.
The stadium opened in 1999 on a 30-year lease, and the Titans originally planned to renovate it for $292 million. Nashville officials have been working on plans for a year to redevelop hundreds of acres around Nissan Stadium on the east bank of the Cumberland River.
This included the renovation of the Nissan Stadium, with an initial estimate of $600 million. This doubled as contractors raised new concerns about the state of the stadium and its infrastructure.
Nihill said a new stadium was the best long-term value.
“It’s a very basic building in the eyes of the NFL,” Nihill said. “It’s one of the 20% lowest buildings in the NFL built before 9/11. Safety enhancements adopted by the NFL have not been added.
Nihill estimated that reaching an agreement for the new stadium, how to pay for it and designing the new building could take over a year. Construction is expected to take 31 months.
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