Owners of the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans have struck a $2.1-billion deal with the City of Nashville to construct a new enclosed stadium for the team.
To be built in parking lots adjacent to city-owned Nissan Stadium, the Titans’ home since 1999, the 1.7-million-sq-ft facility could break ground as soon as next fall, according to a team statement. Design is currently underway on the new stadium, though no architect or construction team has been officially announced. The team has vowed to prioritize local businesses, goods and labor in the project’s construction and vendor contracts.
In an interview posted on the Titans' website, team CEO Burke Nihill said the new stadium would be similar in design and appearance to the Las Vegas Raiders’ $1.9-billion Allegiant Stadium. That stadium has a translucent roof and “quite a bit of glass on the sides to focus on letting as much daylight as possible into the building.”
Nihill added that the team would take “a responsible approach” to managing the construction schedule, with the hoped-for opening for the Titans’ 2026 NFL season potentially pushed back to 2027 if necessary.
As the largest deal of its kind in Nashville’s history, the stadium’s funding mix includes $840 million from “football-related sources,” including the team, the NFL and the sale of personal seat licenses, with the Titans also covering any construction overruns. The Tennessee legislature agreed earlier this year to provide a $500-million bond-supported contribution, contingent on the new stadium being built.
The remaining $760 million will come from revenue bonds issued by Nashville’s Metropolitan Sports Authority (Metro) to be repaid through a new 1% local hospitality tax and revenue from sales and use taxes collected at the stadium and the surrounding campus. Costs for new stadium-related infrastructure and subsequent demolition of Nissan Stadium are also included in the deal, which is scheduled to be submitted to the Nashville City Council for review and approval in early November.
In addition, the Titans will waive $32 million of outstanding bills owed by the city for construction and maintenance performed on Nissan Stadium over the past four years, and pay off the remaining $30 million in bonds owed on the facility.
Team: Existing Stadium Inflexible
The Titans’ 1996 stadium lease obligates Nashville to maintain a “first-class” facility through 2039. However, the team claims that the original concrete frame is inflexible to accommodate major updates, while all mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are in need of upgrades.
Although renovation was initially considered as a way to keep the stadium in service, a city-funded assessment by a public facility consulting firm estimated that such an approach would cost nearly $2 billion over the lease’s remaining 17 years. In addition to the Titans, the new stadium will be designed to accommodate a variety of major sports events.
Following demolition of Nissan Stadium, Metro will regain control over 66 acres of land that includes the old stadium site for conversion into a park, affordable housing, a multi-modal boulevard and commercial construction. The industrial area surrounding Nissan Stadium on the east bank of the Cumberland River has long been eyed for redevelopment, including a proposal from the Titans owners earlier this year. The team has not commented on the status of those plans.