Mayor Cooper, Titans finalize agreement for new Nashville NFL stadium

The final agreement heads to Metro Nashville Council for its first vote on March 7. The earliest the deal could be officially approved is April 4.

By: - February 24, 2023 12:30 pm
Nissan Stadium in Nashville, home of the Tennessee Titans. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Nissan Stadium in Nashville, home of the Tennessee Titans. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Nashville Mayor John Cooper and the Tennessee Titans have finalized an agreement to build a new $2.1 billion NFL stadium and will present it to the Metro Council for its first vote of approval on March 7.

The final agreement is similar to the term sheet council members approved last December, with some slight modifications. The Metro Council approved the term sheet by a 27-8 vote.

The agreement finalizes the largest public subsidy for a sports stadium to date of $1.26 billion. Nashville taxpayers will provide $760 million and the state of Tennessee’s contribution is $500 million.

Nashville Metro Councilmember Bob Mendes (Official Metro Council photo)
Nashville Metro Councilmember Bob Mendes (Official Metro Council photo)

Metro Councilmember Bob Mendes, a critic of the deal, released a 10-page analysis on why he opposed the stadium earlier this month.

Among Mendes’ many concerns were the Cooper administration’s attempts to decouple the new stadium deal from a proposal to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to revitalize the East Bank around the stadium and attempts by the team to inflate the cost of repairs.

The Titans will contribute $840 million to the stadium project, which will be paid for by a combination of team funds, personal seat license sales and a contribution from the NFL.

Personal seat licenses could generate a significant amount of money for the Titans. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the Raiders made $549 million from seat license sales on their new 65,000-seat stadium built in 2020.

Cooper, in a news release, said the deal eliminates an “enormous liability hanging over the city.”

Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced on Jan. 30 he will not seek a second term in office. (Photo: Lookout Staff)

“We took on this complex and decade-old problem of the old stadium lease and fixed it – refusing to pass the buck to the next administration – and came out on the other side with a more fiscally responsible deal for taxpayers and a future world-class city asset,” Cooper said.

The team will take on more financial responsibility for the infrastructure outside the new stadium, with additional guardrails on bond payments and taxpayer liabilities before the current stadium is demolished.

The Metro Council will have to vote on the agreement three times for approval. The earliest the agreement could be finalized is April 4.

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Adam Friedman
Adam Friedman

Adam Friedman is a reporter with the Tennessee Lookout. He has a particular love for data and using numbers to explain all kinds of topics. If you have a story idea, he'd love to hear it. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 615-249-8509.