Governor Bill Lee’s office made a presentation to the Tennessee House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee on his $500 million bond proposal for a new Titans stadium that included several generalizations with very few details.
Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Butch Eley, who functions as Lee’s chief financial officer, made the presentation on Tuesday.
The $500 million in bond funding for a new stadium was a portion of Lee’s office budget amendment presentation. That presentation did not include the specifics of the bond structure.
Lee’s office stated that the $500 million bonds investment will wind up returning more in tax revenue than was spent. Eley said the state will get 50 percent of the new tax revenue generated by the development of the new stadium and the surrounding area. He said that is in place already.
As that project develops, under the plan that additional tax revenue is slated to go towards the bond debt.
Eley told lawmakers in Tuesday’s presentation that it was important to the governor’s office to make a statement now, with the $500 million bond proposal. He said, “Then we’ll see what Metro Nashville does.”
He added that it’s up to the Titans to fill in gaps at the end, and that they will commit to be the “last dollar” on the project.
The plan includes tearing down of the existing Nissan Stadium, which is owned by Nashville Metro. The Titans’ 30-year lease term ends in 2029. A deal that includes a new stadium would allow the Titans to get out of that lease.
Metro Nashville’s financial contribution to the new stadium is unclear but The Tennessee Star previously reported that Mayor Cooper’s office left the door open to public funding. “The Mayor’s Office continues to work closely with Titans leadership to find a responsible stadium solution. The Titans are important to Nashville and we know that being here is important to the Titans. Planning is still very much underway, and we do not have new details to share at this time.”
The state kicked in $67 million in the late 1990s for the construction of Nissan Stadium while Metro Nashville provided more than $144 million.
Titans president Burk Nihill wants a new stadium to be ready to open for the 2026 NFL season, which, he notes, puts negotiations on an accelerated timeline.
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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected] Follow Aaron on GETTR, Twitter, and Parler.
Photo “Bill Lee” by Gov. Bill Lee. Background Photo “Nissan Stadium” by Tennessee Titans.