NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After months of debate, the Metro Council approved a deal for a new Titans stadium early Wednesday morning with a 26 to 12 vote.
The final approval from the council means the city can move forward with plans to build a new, enclosed stadium that will sit on Nashville’s East Bank.
The vote came after hours of public comment, which councilmembers voted to extend, with both supporters and opponents of the deal having equal time to make their case one last time to councilmembers.
The speakers who supported the deal didn’t use all of the allowed two hours and mainly focused on the potential economic benefits the new stadium would bring to businesses in the area.
“Things we are talking about making happen are economic development, boost and booms for businesses,” said one supporter.
Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover told councilmembers this deal was great for her institution as the Titans said they won’t be charging them to use the new stadium as they are doing under the current deal.
Those who oppose the deal said it benefits the hospitality and tourism industry, but doesn’t do enough to address the needs of Nashville residents.
“If you want to know, I’m a 60-year-old white guy and I am here to tell you almost $3 billion for a new stadium is some grade-A prime old white man thinking,” said one opponent of the deal. “We need that $3 billion for schools, for affordable housing, for infrastructure, for mental health, for any number of causes.”
The deal wasn’t allowed to be changed or amended during the third and final vote.
Under the deal, the Titans will be responsible for $840 million of stadium funding and any cost overruns, $500 million will come from a contribution from the State of Tennessee and the remaining $760 million of the $2.1 billion budget will paid by revenue bonds issued by the Metro Sports Authority. Those revenue bonds will be be repaid through a one-percent increase in Davidson County’s hotel occupancy tax and in-stadium sales tax.
Mayor John Cooper said the deal is a “huge win for Nashville taxpayers.”
“We’ve eliminated a billion-dollar liability created by an aging stadium lease and created a platform for the city to thrive for decades. This was always about more than football. This vote unlocks the East Bank Vision for Nashville’s next generation,” said Mayor Cooper. “It enables a true smart growth plan for the decades ahead. It will expand our transit network, create affordable housing, build parks and civic space, activate the waterfront, and drive resilience and sustainability.”
Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk said the Tennessee Titans are grateful that Metro Council voted to approve the deal and thankful for the support of the city.
“For more than 25 years, Nashville, Tennessee, has been the Titans’ home, and with the approval of the new stadium agreement, we are grateful to know the Titans will be a part of this great city and state for decades to come,” said Strunk.
Groundbreaking for the new stadium is expected to occur in early-to-mid 2024, with an opening anticipated in 2027.
The stadium is currently estimated at 1.75 million square feet, with a capacity of approximately 60,000 people. Officials anticipate the new venue to bring in year-round events, with aspirations to host Super Bowls, NCAA Final Fours, College Football Playoffs, Wrestlemanias and more.