NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As Nissan Stadium ages, the Tennessee Titans are weighing their options. Renovate or rebuild? Either way, the project is going to cost a lot of money. But one plan is better for Nashville taxpayers.
Nissan Stadium was built in 1999. But after 23 years of wear and tear, parts of the venue are literally starting to crumble.
During a Nashville Sports Authority meeting on Thursday, Titans President and CEO Burke Nihill said that, between necessary maintenance, and additional renovations to keep the stadium modern and competitive, it could cost Nashville taxpayers $1.8 billion between now and the end of the lease in 2039.
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“We’ve known that this was going to be a big number for a long time which is why we felt the sense of urgency to do something else, to find another solution,” Nihill said.
For years the Sports Authority, an extension of the taxpayers, has been responsible for operating and maintaining professional sports facilities in Metro Nashville. But if a new stadium is built, it could take the burden off taxpayers.
Nihill estimates a brand new venue could cost between $1.9 and $2.2 billion and state lawmakers have already pledged $500 million toward the project if it includes a roof. An enclosed stadium could attract events like the Super Bowl and Final Four.
Funding for a new venue would largely come from the Tennessee Titans and private investors—unlike funding for renovations.
“Through our analysis, it’s pretty clear that Plan A should be looking at a new stadium. It’s the only option that provides a holistic solution, that’s going to be a 30, 40, 50-year solution. Just the condition of our building, there are things we could potentially do, but none of them will be as complete of a solution as plan A,” Nihill said.
Last week, Nashville Mayor John Cooper published an op-ed in the Tennesseean calling it “financially irresponsible” to renovate rather than rebuild. He explained how tourist dollars and spending near the venue would pay for the project, and be backed by the Titans organization.
Officials have not provided a deadline on when a decision about the stadium will be made.