by Jon Styf
The Tennessee Titans’ franchise value could increase by $300 million if the team gets a new stadium, according to a new report from Forbes.
That report comes as the Titans saw one of the largest valuation increases in the NFL, according to new numbers from Sportico, which say the Nashville franchise is now worth $3.2 billion.
That’s a 23% increase from last year’s valuations, which jumped the franchise up five spots in the rankings to 23rd.
The valuations come as the Titans are in negotiations with Metro Nashville on funding for the new estimated $2.2 billion enclosed stadium to replace Nissan Stadium, built in 1999. The team is scheduled to pay $700 million of that cost while $1.5 billion of it will be publicly funded.
Nashville has hired Venue Solutions Group for at least $250,000 to study the city’s legal obligations at Nissan Stadium after the group estimated in 2017 that the stadium would require $293.2 million in capital improvements over 20 years.
Titans CEO Burke Nihill estimated that city obligation to be $1.839 billion.
Much of the debate comes down to a legal interpretation of the term “first-class condition” at the stadium and what that means now and going forward at Nissan Stadium.
After the study is complete, which is estimated to happen in November, Nashville’s city council could vote to approve an estimated $1 billion in revenue bonds.
Tennessee has agreed to bond $500 million of the project, leading to $55 million annual payments.
Nashville plans to pay the revenue bonds with Nashville’s portion of taxes for sales at the stadium and half of the taxes from sales on 130 acres planned to be developed outside the stadium. Tennessee has conceded a 5.5% sales tax at the stadium and 2.75% sales talks in the future development outside the stadium while also approving a 1 percentage point increase in a hotel-motel tax in Davidson County.
Team ownership and an NFL loan are expected to pay $700 million toward the stadium and will be responsible for any construction overages. Nashville will be responsible for paying any amount of the revenue bonds that are not paid through the taxes.
Nashville created an East Bank Stadium Committee to collect information on the project before a vote but that group will not independently review economic and tax collection estimates for the project.
Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies.