Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is willing to use state funds to help the Tennessee Titans build a new stadium. What he won’t do is help them refurbish their current home, Nissan Stadium.
Axios Nashville reported Monday that Lee will provide $500 million to the Titans, provided they use the money to build a new, enclosed stadium. Such a venue would provide Nashville the opportunity to bid to host the country’s biggest sporting events, namely the Super Bowl and the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four. It also would serve as the centerpiece for continued development on the east side of the Cumberland River.
According to the report, Lee has asked the state legislature to approve $500 million in bonds for the project as part of an amended budget. Other financial stipulations also must be met.
Based on the cost of recently built stadiums elsewhere in the country, the expectation is that a new venue for the Titans would cost approximately $2 billion.
Franchise officials said earlier this month that they are moving quickly to secure the necessary financial plan, design elements and other factors necessary for the project. The goal is for a new stadium to be completed in time for the 2026 NFL season and for Nashville to host games in the 2026 World Cup (the city is currently under consideration to be one of the sites used in that quadrennial event).
The decision to pursue a new venue, which would be built on what is a parking lot adjacent to the current one, developed from planned renovations to the facility, which became cost prohibitive.
Nissan Stadium opened in 1999 and has been the Titans’ home ever since. Additionally, Tennessee State University has played home football games there, Nashville SC of MLS has used it as a temporary home for the past two seasons and the Music City Bowl is played there every December. It also has become a regular site for international soccer matches, which routinely have set state attendance records.
Outside of sports, the venue hosts the showcase concerts of CMA Fest as well as other major music events that have featured or will feature the likes of Garth Brooks and The Rolling Stones.