While the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Mayor John Cooper are talking about renovating Nissan Stadium and extending the team’s lease, a price tag for taxpayers has not been disclosed.
The franchise and the city announced their discussions last week, The Tennessee Star reported. The negotiations have been going on for some time, but the team said it was making the process public, citing a story by The Tennessean. Something should be known in about six months.
The Titans are seeking fan input on the possible renovations from focus groups, The Nashville Business Journal reported. Images of potential changes were reportedly emailed to season ticket holders.
“Our biggest priority throughout this process has been to envision a space that Nashvillians would be proud of, built with the community in mind,” Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement.
The Titans tweeted a quote from Cooper: ”A bold vision brought the Titans to Nashville more than 20 years ago, and a renewed vision will secure the Titans’ future in our great city.” — @JohnCooper4Nash
"A bold vision brought the Titans to Nashville more than 20 years ago, and a renewed vision will secure the Titans' future in our great city." – @JohnCooper4Nash #Titans, City of Nashville in Talks on Future of @NissanStadium 📰 » https://t.co/x7WWRVdJbn
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) December 18, 2020
The franchise said the deal, which has been discussed for several years, could potentially “secure the Titans’ future in Nashville and facilitate the creation of a new Nashville neighborhood surrounding the facility.”
The vision for the East Bank neighborhood project would foster the creation of thousands of jobs and generate millions in new tax revenue annually that would be used to mitigate the city’s direct financial burden outlined in the present lease. The development would be privately funded and resulting tax revenue used to fund substantial upgrades to Nissan Stadium. Current concepts for the neighborhood include a gathering of mixed public and private use facilities such as riverfront parks, green space, housing, offices, retail and restaurants.
Again, no price tag for taxpayers has been disclosed.
For a stadium to make money, it needs fans.
Eventually, attendance was set to about 21 or 22 percent capacity, FanSided said. That means about 14,500 to 15,200 fans out of the capacity of about 69,000.
However, the Metropolitan Sports Authority lists the capacity at 67,700.
The stadium, built in 1999, cost about $264 million.
Listed revenues are: annual lease payments, Titans at $362,319, and Tennessee State University at$131,522. Other revenues are from parking and payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) of $4 million.
Football Stadium Digest in January 2020 reported that city officials expected to have “future discussions” with the Titans over renovations, but the city’s $42 million budget shortfall would have to be worked out first. No renovation estimates were mentioned then either.
Meanwhile, Nashville’s 34 percent property tax increase is the “Pork of the Year,” according to the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s annual Pork Report, The Star recently reported.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.