by Adam Ghassemi
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans want to spend $25 million on new speakers, high-definition videoboards and elevators upgrading LP Field with most renovations completed by the start of the 2012 season.
The Titans announced their proposal Wednesday during a news conference at the publicly owned stadium. Though these are tough economic times, Don MacLachlan, executive vice president of administration and facilities, said the team put in a lot of work planning renovations that would improve the in-game experience for fans.
"With the number of NFL stadiums improving all of their technology and stadiums we felt it was time that we should try to move forward with some of these projects as well," said MacLachlan.
It also includes converting some indoor and outdoor storage areas into fan-friendly dining and entertainment zones and video screens on the east and west sides of the stadium, providing information and stimulating graphics throughout games or concerts.
Some of the improvements were part of the original plans for the stadium when it was built 12 years ago, but were removed for budgeting reasons. MacLachlan said it became evident that improvements such as the elevators were necessities.
The improvements plans will need to be approved by the Nashville Sports Authority and then the Metro Council. Both will be asked to sign off on the immediate improvements and a funding package for future renovations at the stadium. They plan to present the plans in an informal work session with the Sports Authority and the Metro Council's Budget and Finance Committee, as well as the Convention, Tourist and Entertainment Facilities Committee on October 27.
"This is a good thing for the city of Nashville. This is a good thing for this building. I think it's a good thing for the future of sports and other events in our city," said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
MacLachlan said the plan would be paid for by a $2 per ticket user fee put into place two years ago. The Titans also want to raise that fee to $3 to help pay for long-term improvements.
Metro currently sets aside $1 million a year for routine upkeep of the stadium, and user fees pay for larger costs.
MacLachlan said they hope the improvements will be done by the opening pre-season game in 2012.
The stadium was finished in 1999- one year after the Tennessee Titans, then known as the Houston Oilers, moved to Nashville.
On May 3, 2010, the field was covered with six feet of water due to the heavy rains and flooding. It also reached down to the locker rooms.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)