Why the Titans are OK with building a stadium that would be the smallest in the NFL

Titans rendering
Posted at 4:19 PM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 20:19:21-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In the shadow of the current home for the Tennessee Titans, NewsChannel 5 found Titans fans that were fired up about the possibility of a new stadium.

"Well yea, I’d love to have a new stadium," said Jennifer Booker, a Titans fan.

"Like the idea, especially the prospect of bringing in bigger games, championship games, national championship games, Super Bowls, things like that I think would be really cool," said Matt Tabor, another fan visiting the Titans Team Store.

The team is pitching an enclosed stadium with a translucent roof and claims there will be no bad seats in the new house.

"Every seat has been pulled further forward and slightly steeper. That means the views are closer and better to the game or the concert than they are in the existing building. In fact, the entire upper deck is pulled about 30 feet closer," said David Manica, the architect behind the proposal during a Nov. 9th Metro Council committee meeting.

But to the surprise of a lot of fans, seating will actually be reduced in a new stadium by 9,000. With just 60,000 seats, a new Titans stadium would become the smallest venue in the NFL.

"It’s an industry best thinking at this point," explained Titans CEO Burke Nihill during a recent meeting.

Nihill added — in addition to providing better sight lines — reduced capacity is also a business decision.

"It’s a little bit of a painful experience because it’s my job to make sure we sell out the stadium. We don’t sell out the stadium for most of our games," Nihill told Metro Councilmembers.

Reduced capacity is not a deal breaker for Matt Tabor.

"It does kind of stink that it’s going to be less, but I think like it’s going to be kind of like some of the newer stadiums, have some of the standing room only things, kind of more or vibe where people can come hang out at games," said the Titans fan.

But is the $2.1 billion price tag worth it to all Nashvillians?

As Metro Council makes their decision, they will get to hear directly from the public Monday night at East High Magnet High School at 6 pm. The council must consider the Titans' proposal in three meetings before they can proceed with an official vote.

Meanwhile — WWE has made a verbal commitment to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation that they will bring Wrestle Mania to Nashville in 2027 — if an enclosed stadium is constructed.

It's a seven-night production and WWE's biggest event of the year. The NCVB calls the event, "CMA Fest on steroids."

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