NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Following months of meetings, Metro Council took a huge step toward building a new NFL stadium in Nashville.
The council voted Tuesday night to accept the terms sheet for the Tennessee Titans’ $2.1 billion stadium proposal. The council also voted to give final approval for increasing the hotel occupancy tax by 1% to help pay for the project.
The final vote was 27-8, with three abstentions, after hours of debate between council members.
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The Titans released a statement Tuesday night following the votes, which reads:
“For several years now, we have been searching for a responsible and sustainable solution to a growing, unfunded taxpayer liability. We’re thankful for Council’s support in bringing us one step closer to removing taxpayer risk from the stadium forever, while creating a long-lasting, transformational stadium that both entertains and serves its community year-round. We look forward to continuing conversations with the City, Metro Council, Sports Authority, and community as we complete discussions in the new year.”
With the passage of the terms sheet, negotiations between the team and the city will begin to finalize, and the Titans will return to Metro Council early next year to wrap up final the process. The council will still have to vote to give final approval.
The billion-dollar project is projected to be one of the largest investments in Tennessee.
When Mayor John Cooper originally announced plans, his office noted how the lease for Nissan Stadium, signed in 1996, legally obligates the city of Nashville to provide a “first-class” stadium until 2039.
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Mayor Cooper released a statement Tuesday night following the proposal’s passage that reads:
“By getting out of a lease that has become a billion-dollar liability, tonight’s vote is an enormous step toward a better future for Nashville’s neighborhoods and families. Metro will now be in a much stronger position to increase the investments in our fundamental neighborhood priorities—good schools, safe streets, affordable housing, new and improved infrastructure, reliable city services, parks and greenways and more – rather than putting good money after bad in a deteriorating stadium.
I am grateful to Metro Council for their careful consideration of this deal, and ultimate vote of confidence. In particular, I’d like to thank the East Bank Committee for their hard work and scrupulous review of the proposal. I am proud of the transparency and robust community engagement throughout this process which included over 30 separate Council and neighborhood meetings, and answers to over 100 detailed questions submitted to my office by Council Members. I am pleased that after a thorough review of the plan, a strong majority agree this deal is a win for Nashville taxpayers.
As we move toward the end of negotiations with the Titans, I remain deeply committed to putting Nashville taxpayers first, and I will not compromise on our core principles. This deal is about way more than football. It’s about what is best for Nashville’s financial future.”
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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.