Senate leaders question governor's funding for Titans stadium

Nissan Stadium titans
Posted at 10:15 PM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 23:15:40-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's a deal that could mean a new stadium for the Tennessee Titans.

But Gov. Bill Lee's proposal to issue up to $500 million in bonds to go toward a new Titans Stadium in Nashville is facing criticism from some in his own party.

"I have serious concerns about the state allocating half a billion dollars towards a new stadium," Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, said.

Johnson sits on the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee that decides issues surrounding state taxes, revenue and bonds.

He said Lee's proposal to take out up to $500 million in bonds to pay for a new stadium in Nashville to replace the current stadium might not be worth it.

"One of the most important things we do up here is to decide how we spend taxpayer dollars," Johnson said. "I love the Titans. I want them to be here. I'm a big fan. I just don't know if that's an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars."

Johnson said having a covered stadium for the Titans would be a good thing, but he said lawmakers already passed a bill to help give finances a boost with legislation that allows the Titans to help fund renovations at Nissan Stadium by keeping part of the sales tax paid there, and in any new campus built near there in the future.

The governor's office said his plan would take advantage of the state's AAA bond rating, with the state making up less than half of the funding.

It said a new stadium with an enclosed roof would put Nashville in contention to host huge events like the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four.