NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are exploring options to continue playing in a stadium on the banks of the Cumberland River.
Titans President Burke Nihill discussed the team's plans Thursday at a sports authority board meeting in Nashville.
Nihill said the team has been working for years on plans to renovate Nissan Stadium, but now those plans have nearly doubled in costs.
"We have for years been pursuing a renovation as the primary objective, if we could accomplish it, with the idea that that would just be more cost-effective, likely, than starting with a new building," Nihill said. "We love our real estate. This is a very classic place for an NFL stadium."
He explained that the team worked with an architect to create concepts for renovation in 2020. When looking into the potential costs, he said the number came back "very palatable" at around $500 to $600 million. However, due to high inflation rates, Nihill said when the team recently did a second check-in on the potential costs, the renovation price nearly doubled to $1.2 billion.
"One of the options we are thinking about is a new stadium. Whether given the investment that would be required in a renovation, it’s within a whisker, potentially, of a new stadium," Nihill said. "We haven't eliminated any possibility. We are pursuing all possibilities."
The Titans currently are working with local officials on the design and costs for a new stadium on the parking lots between the current stadium and Interstate 24.
"We still believe, to the extent we have any influence, that converting 100 acres of parking into Nashville’s next great neighborhood – that’s built around Nashvillians, that’s built around locals from all income levels, all races, all experiences – that is the goal of this neighborhood," he said.
Nihill said any rumors that the Titans are looking to build a sports and entertainment district is untrue.
"The Titans reject that notion. In fact, we are just hopeful that we end up with a stadium that ends up a part of one of the more celebrated neighborhoods in Nashville," he said.
NewsChannel 5 reached out to the Titans to clarify if they have fully moved from plans to renovate Nissan Stadium at this time. A spokesperson for the team said both options are still being considered.
"A renovation is still very much on the table, we are just trying to determine if it’s the smartest long-term plan. Renovating the current stadium’s infrastructure is difficult because of the materials used to make it. They have lifespans and are getting weary, and are not very flexible," said a spokesperson for the team. "Due to those infrastructure needs we recently learned about and this inflationary environment we’re in, the original $500-600 million renovation budget we were aiming for is now no longer possible, and we’re looking closer to double that budget now. If we were to move forward with that, there could still be an opportunity to do something exciting with the current stadium, but how long could that last with its infrastructure needs? That’s the question we’re investigating right now."
The timeline for building a new stadium calls for trying to finish construction in time for the 2026 NFL season.