Taxpayers to pay $1B in interest on new Titans stadium, as team value spikes from project

Metro Nashville and the state officials issued bonds for the new Titans stadium last week, as Forbes estimated the team’s value increased by 26% in one year.

By: - September 11, 2023 6:00 am
Nissan Stadium in Nashville, home of the Tennessee Titans. (Photo: John Partipilo)

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

In the span of one week, the Tennessee Titans team value increased $900 million, while the finalizing of bond documents show taxpayers are on the hook for nearly $1.1 billion in interest payments as part of the team’s new taxpayer-funded stadium.

Metro Nashville issued $705.4 million in bonds for the stadium, estimating they’ll pay $837.6 million in interest over 30 years. The state of Tennessee issued $452.7 million in bonds over 20 years, expecting to pay $230.2 million in interest.

The bond issuances were the final step in the deal to build a new NFL stadium for the Tennessee Titans, which state lawmakers approved in 2022 and the Metro Nashville Council cleared in April.

The stadium deal, with interest, will cost taxpayers nearly $2.3 billion.

The team and NFL are contributing $840 million to the project. The bonding documents suggest the team expects to generate $350 million of its contributions by selling personal seat licenses, a flat one-time fee ticketholders pay to have the right to buy season tickets.

What happens when a cash-poor billionaire wants a new sports stadium? Lobbying.

With an NFL loan and seat licenses, the Titans owners, Amy Adams Strunk and her family, personal contribution could be less than $200 million, or less than 10% of the projects sticker price of $2.2 billion.

The stadium deal at least partially factored into Forbes, estimating the Titans team value at $4.4 billion. Since 2019, the team’s value has doubled, according to Forbes.

NFL teams are the most valuable sports franchises because TV contracts guarantee each team a minimum of $300 million per year.

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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.