Nashville Council Approves Term Sheet for New $2.1B Tennessee Titans Stadium

by Jon Styf


Metro Nashville’s Council approved a non-binding term sheet related to building a new $2.1 billion Tennessee Titans stadium on Tuesday night.

The term sheet outlined a deal that includes $1.26 billion in taxpayer funds toward building the stadium along with a tax fund that is projected to collect $2.9 billion during the 30-year lease to pay off $760 million in revenue bonds from Metro Nashville’s Sports Authority. This tax fund will also pay for future maintenance and upgrades at the stadium.

The council also approved a new 1 percentage point increase in Davidson County’s hotel-motel tax that would go toward the stadium tax fund.

East Bank Stadium Committee Chair Bob Mendes encouraged council members to abstain from voting to persuade both the Titans and mayor’s office to involve Metro Council more in continued negotiations on the deal. The term sheet was approved by a 27-8 vote with three members abstaining.

“We’ve been told that there’s going to be $2.9 billion coming in from the captured Metro revenue tax sources and we don’t have any information whatsoever, not a rough idea of a bond payment and not a rough idea of where the rest of the money is gonna go,” Mendes said. “And that’s commercially unreasonable.”

One item of contention at meetings both Monday and Tuesday night was an amendment to the deal asking the Titans to give Metro Nashville naming rights revenue for the new stadium, but Titans CEO Burke Nihill said that the team was depending on those funds to obtain a loan to fund some of its portion of the new stadium costs. Nihill, however, would not tell council how much the team would make on that deal, how much the team makes on the current Nissan Stadium deal or any of the details of the teams’ current finances.

On Tuesday, council passed an amendment to the term sheet that would create a Nashville Needs Impact Fund. A member of the mayor’s staff, Legislative Director Mike Jameson, read a response letter from Nihill saying the team couldn’t commit to giving some of the naming rights funds to the new impact fund but that the team would try to contribute.

The new stadium deal would be the most public funding to ever go to an NFL stadium and Nihill said on Monday that the team would be loaned more money than any team previously had loaned to build a new stadium.

The council denied hearing a late-filed amendment to the bill from Council Member Freddie O’Connell.

“If we look at the $4.2 billion and the unknowns that are in there, then I’m not yet at the point where I can go out and say that this is provably better (than the current lease),” O’Connell said. “We all know the current lease is untenable and we would do better by the city to move beyond that and I think there is still some more work to be done here, especially without the amendment that I offered.”

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Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter at The Center Square 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.
Photo “Nashville Stadium” by Arne Müseler CC3.0


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3 Thoughts to “Nashville Council Approves Term Sheet for New $2.1B Tennessee Titans Stadium”

  1. Nancy

    Will the local gop party call for primary elections for the metro council and mayors race next year?
    The local gop party will continue to be a joke and lose all the elections when they do not put candidates up for office!

  2. Joe Blow

    Typical government mismanagement. “Tell us how much you want and we will find a way to give it to you”. Although no one knows how much it will really cost and who will get what monies.; I would demand that the city retain naming rights and the finances derived from that. The Titans are screwing over the public with the help of self-centered city officials. But that is typical.

  3. Steve Allen

    Given that it is an undisputed fact that Nashville is controlled by the left, it should be considered a crime against humanity that this much money is being spent on a sports stadium when there are thousands of people who are living below the poverty line or are actually living in the streets of Nashville.