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Gov. Bill Lee wants $500 million in bonds approved for new, enclosed Titans stadium

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Posted at 1:57 PM, Mar 28, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — NewsChannel 5 has learned that Gov. Bill Lee wants the state legislature to approve $500 million in bonds toward a new Tennessee Titans stadium as part of his amended budget.

If the financial commitment is accepted, the Titans would have to agree to stipulations. According to an anonymous source close to the deal, the money could only go to a new enclosed stadium — not a new open-air one, nor a renovated original.

This news comes after the Titans revealed that their original renovation plans nearly doubled in cost and they needed to seek sources for assistance.

Then, taxpayers became worried that stadium payments would fall on them, but Mayor John Cooper said that the Titans would be responsible for their own costs.

The mayor's office said the governor's office is welcome and appreciated.

"For the last 20 years we’ve loved hosting the Tennessee Titans under the original lease, and that first lease now obligates us to provide and maintain a first-class stadium. Mayor Cooper is committed to two goals: keeping the Titans in Nashville for generations to come, and doing that in a way that does not divert tax dollars from education, affordable housing, infrastructure, or other general fund obligations. We are continuing to study stadium options that allow us to do both," the mayor's office said in a statement.

While Lee's $500 million offer would be a significant assistance, it is still not nearly the $2 billion estimated to be needed for the construction of a new stadium.

The state funds would also be contingent on the city and the Titans agreeing to a financing package that would place the new, covered stadium at the center of broader redevelopment around it.

Whether the stadium will accept the terms of this plan is not yet certain.

Amendments are expected to be presented to lawmakers on Tuesday.