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New Nashville stadium closer to reality

With a funding plan proposed and new renderings released by the Tennessee Titans (NFL), we’re closer to final approvals for a new Nashville stadium.

The overall financial plan for a new Nashville stadium is pretty much the same as they were when we last wrote about the proposal. The new stadium, located on the Interstate 24 side of the current Nissan Stadium property, would be built adjacent to current stadium, planned as the centerpiece of a new mixed-use development across the river from downtown Nashville, opening for the 2026 NFL season. Nissan Stadium would then be torn down, with that facility’s acreage as well as that of adjacent parking lots be used to round out the development.

In the renderings released by the Titans, the team and architect MANICA (Kansas City) envision a 1.7-million square-foot facility with a capacity of approximately 60,000—smaller than newer, comparable facilities. (U.S. Bank Stadium has a total capacity of 73,000 with 66,000 fixed seats; Allegiant Stadium boasts 65,000 fixed seats.) The decision was made long ago to make this an enclosed stadium designed for year-round use; a Super Bowl and a Final Four is on the wish list both for the city and the Titans.

“We envision a potential new stadium that makes our community proud and enhances the reputation of our great city and state,” said Titans president and CEO Burke Nihill via press release. “We’re focused on designing a stadium capable of hosting a prestigious international event on a Sunday and a steady flow of impactful community programming later that same week. This is a building that would serve Nashville and Tennessee for generations.”

According to the team, the design of the new Nashville stadium “is inspired by the city of Nashville and is planned to be complementary to the broader East Bank development plan led by the city. The design gave specific attention to multi-purpose function, in order to maximize the number and types of events that could take place in the building.”

These are conceptual renderings, used so the planning process to begin. A final architect of record will be named later.

Highlights of the design:

  • Exterior terraces and porches with panoramic views of Nashville that will serve as social space during event days.
  • A circular ETFE translucent roof.
  • Improved sight lines for all spectators through diverse viewing experiences.
  • High-tech and sustainable materials throughout the building, used to pursue U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold certification.
  • A 12,000 square foot dedicated community space that could be utilized year-round for educational opportunities, non-profit events and other community-minded purposes.

As noted, the city and the Titans have proposed a funding plan for the new $2.1-billion stadium, one that requires approval of both Nashville’s Metro and the NFL. The funding plan for a new Nashville stadium both clears up loose ends with Nissan Stadium (pays off existing debt, retires city money owed to the Titans for stadium repairs, removes future repairs as a city liability) and establishes investment streams for the new stadium. The main points of the funding plan:

  • $840 million for the new stadium, as well as any construction overruns, from the Titans, NFL, and PSL sales.
  • $500 million from a one-time state contribution.
  • $760 million from revenue bonds issued by the Metro Sports Authority to be repaid through the revenue streams described above, as well as a new 1 percent hotel/motel tax contingent on the building of a new enclosed stadium, and sales and use taxes collected at the stadium and on its campus.

The Titans will maintain and backstop upkeep over the life of the 30-year lease, and Metro will own the stadium when the lease expires. Demolition of Nissan Stadium and any infrastructure changes are included in this funding plan.

As noted, the funding plan still needs to be approved by the NFL (which isn’t seen as a huge barrier) and Metro (which could be). Next up: Venue Solutions Group (VSG) will be providing a full report to Metro Council of their findings that details their methodology and approach to this funding plan by November 1.

Renderings courtesy of Tennessee Titans.

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August Publications