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Nashville Metro Mulling Nissan Stadium Improvements


Facing some questions about potential upgrades to Nissan Stadium, the Nashville Metro Sports Authority is considering a study on the facility’s future.

Nissan Stadium has hosted the Tennessee Titans since 1999, and the team’s lease at the venue runs through 2027. Under the terms of that lease, Nashville Metro has had to pay for certain stadium and maintenance upgrades, with one of the largest expense of late being $15 million for a facility-wide seat replacement project. In many cases the Titans are reimbursed for upgrades, with Nashville Metro supplying a $1 million subsidy for the teams.

However, there are some concerns going forward that Nashville Metro’s subsidy will not going to cover the cost of renovations. The Titans are already awaiting reimbursement for projects that have been completed, and figures from this spring show that there is only $157,947 in Nashville Metro’s capital improvement fund.

With the Titans seeking more upgrades down the road, Nashville Metro mayor Megan Barry has proposed a $355,000 study that would be conducted by Venue Solutions Group. That report would also look at Bridgestone Arena, another publicly-owned facility in Nashville that is home to the NHL’s Nashville Predators. However, the life of the facility’s lease combined with the Titans’ desire for about $5.1 million more in upgrades, has made Nissan Stadium a particularly big issue for Sports Authority members. More from the Tennessean:

At July’s Sports Authority meeting, Barry’s Chief Operating Officer, Rich Riebeling, told board members that other cities have performed similar studies of their city-owned sports facilities

Riebeling said the independent assessment would allow the city to get a better handle on Nissan Stadium-related expenditures coming over the next decade on the front-end rather than learning about them as they come.

“I think if we have a benchmark (on costs) to start with, I think it will give us all a comfort-level, and then we can get into the political discussion about how we’re going to pay for it and what the best options are going forward,” Riebeling said.

“We’re seeing the obligations grow and we know that,” he said of Nissan Stadium. “This isn’t going to change. It’s an older building. You look around and it’s hard to believe that it’s getting on 20 years old, but it is. So we’ve got to start thinking about this.”

As was noted here today about Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium–a facility that opened one year before Nissan Stadium–NFL venues from the 1990’s are becoming more frequent targets for upgrades. Nissan Stadium falls into that era and, with the Titans seeking money for future repairs such as lighting, surveillance, and elevator improvements, the Sports Authority will have to look at potential solutions. The authority will discuss the study on Thursday.

Image courtesy of Nissan Stadium.

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