Mayor Cooper says Titans are responsible for costs of new stadium

'Fundamentally the city is not in the entertainment or stadium business.'
nissan stadium
Posted at 6:31 AM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 12:07:03-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Titans have been working for years on plans to renovate their home space, but now those plans have nearly doubled in cost.

As the team works on plans for a potential new stadium, much of the discussion has revolved around who would pay for it.

Mayor John Cooper weighed in on this debate, saying the Titans are the responsible party behind any renovations or new construction to their stadium. He clarified that Metro's priorities remain in education and creating safer streets and roads, not in building stadiums.

Many taxpayers continue to worry that paying for a new stadium would fall on them. Just last month a spokesperson for the Titans told NewsChannel 5 that the ownership group is committed to "heavily investing financially in a new stadium."

At the most recent sports authority board meeting, Titans President Burke Nihill gave further details about the team's plans. He said original renovation costs were estimated around $500 to $600 million when designs were drawn up in 2020. Like most things, those costs have since increased — to around $1.2 billion.

Because of the iconic location, team officials have said they prefer to keep the same location downtown. They're now working with local officials to construct a new stadium on the parking lots between the current stadium and Interstate 24, with a completion date of 2026.

Mayor Cooper said he loves that Nashville is an NFL town, but "fundamentally the city is not in the entertainment or stadium business."

"I think the Titans have been surprised, as all of the rest of us about this huge increase in construction costs. That's just very hard for anyone remodeling a facility or a home, as we all know. You really have to sharpen the pencil and really get on it if you're going to be building, developing, remodeling in the current era," said Cooper.

All of this comes as the city is redeveloping the East Bank area on the Cumberland River. That's expected to come with a brand new, multi-million dollar neighborhood in the coming years.