NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Will the Titans get a brand-new, enclosed stadium, and if so, who will pay? That is what lawmakers at the state capitol will be discussing Tuesday morning as News 4 confirmed Monday that state money could be pledged for a new stadium.
In February, the Titans said the cost to renovate Nissan Stadium was so expensive that they may as well just scrap it altogether and build a brand new one. Now, it looks like the state is stepping in to help make that happen.
Collins Eke spends time down by the Cumberland River near Nissan Stadium from time to time after finishing work in Nashville. “I like the river and views,” Eke said. “It seems like a good place to decompress.”
However, the relatively quiet spot after work may be near a construction zone in the future as talks over the Titans building a brand new stadium next to the current one ramp up. This comes as sources told News 4 that at Tuesday’s Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee meeting AT 8:30 a.m., Governor Bill Lee will release his amended budget which will include $500 million in bonds to help pay for the new stadium.
“I think there are other programs and resources that need an infusion of those funds like feeding the homeless and building affordable housing,” Eke said.
Rep. Bill Beck said he is expecting more details Tuesday on how the general obligation funds would be paid.
“Don’t know at this point,” Rep. Beck said. “Who is repaying those general obligation bonds? That will decide if it is taxpayer money.”
Axios Nashville reports that the $500 million comes with the requirement that the stadium must be enclosed. Some Nashville residents said they hope that would draw huge events like the Final Four, National Championship, and Superbowl.
“I think it is rad,” resident Lucas Boris said. “As a musician, it is just going to be more opportunities for people to get on that big stage. After the Superbowl show this halftime, there is a lot of hungry people out here to do the same thing Dr. Dre is doing.”
Rep. Beck said the new stadium would be a gamechanger for the city and allow events year-round. Beck expects the budget amendment to be approved while some, like Eke, think the area is fine the way it is.
“I think a stadium is unnecessary,” Eke said. “I don’t think there is anything wrong with this stadium right here.”
Last month, the Titans told News 4 that the mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems at the current stadium need to be completely replaced and renovations would cost far more than originally expected. State lawmakers said according to estimates they’ve seen, the $500 million would cover about one-fourth of the cost to build a brand-new stadium. Axios Nashville reports the state funds are also contingent on the Titans and city agreeing on a broader financing package.
The Governor’s Office told News 4 that they cannot confirm anything about the budget amendment until it is presented publicly to legislators Tuesday morning.
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