Tennessee Titans and Nashville officials considering new football stadium

Negotiations for $600 million in Nissan Stadium upgrades have been put on “pause” as new studies show major renovations are needed beyond what was planned, officials said.

The Tennessee Titans and Metro Nashville could scrap their 23-year-old stadium renovation plans and instead build an all-new NFL home on the East Bank.

The decision was made after recent construction and design studies revealed that major structural elements needed to be completely replaced. Previous research has neglected to account for new structural pipes, windows, and other major upgrades needed.

Instead of a $600 million renovation, they are now discussing a price tag of at least $1.2 billion.

Metro and Titans officials have planned a major overhaul of the entire east bank for over a year, across the Cumberland River from downtown.

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They are considering a new neighborhood surrounding the home of the Titans with an entertainment district like Wrigleyville in Chicago. Beyond that, more than 200 acres of land are to be redeveloped into a new neighborhood in place of a former industrial area mostly filled with surface parking lots.

Initial estimates that the stadium needed $600 million to be transformed into a “world-class” facility on par with cities like Miami were further away than expected.

“What we’ve discovered most recently is that the stadium needs a lot more infrastructure than we originally anticipated,” Titans spokeswoman Kate Guerra said. “For example, the stadium’s framework was built in concrete and is to be largely replaced by steel.”

Workers continue to construct the hockey rink in preparation for the 2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022.

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Additional costs also include complete replacement of mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems.

The revelation caused the Titans to pause negotiations with Mayor John Cooper as they step back to consider their options.

Titans fans begin to leave Nissan Stadium following their team's loss to the Bengals in the AFC Divisional Playoff game on Saturday Jan. 22, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.

“When you consider the current and future needs of our current stadium, it’s possible that another path, such as a new, modern stadium that could better serve the needs of its community, might be a more responsible option to explore,” Guerra said. .

Cooper said Metro and the Titans are “evaluating the costs and benefits of several scenarios for the future of Nissan Stadium.”

“The revised cost estimates force us to take a hard look at whether a new stadium would be a better long-term financial decision for Nashville,” Cooper said in a statement. “We’ll only settle for the best-case scenario for Nashville.”

“We remain committed to our original mission: to find an elegant solution to upgrade the stadium to first-class NFL quality standards and remove Nashville’s general fund from stadium activity once and for all through a reimagining of our current lease structure, which as it exists today, places the cost burden of an aging stadium on the city and the general taxpayer of Nashville,” Guerra said.

Metro Council member Brett Withers, which serves District 6 where Nissan Stadium is located, said the option of investing in a new stadium could be more cost-effective in the long run, given how the current stadium has been built and of its advanced age.

“You’re kind of looking at either investing in a stadium that doesn’t even meet today’s standards, hoping that you can renovate it somewhat and make it last 20 or 30 years, which seems unlikely, or would you take the same funds or maybe a little more to build a new stadium, and so that seems more logical,” he said.

A new stadium could also be built closer to the highway, which Withers says is “really appropriate from a planning perspective and really helps us build a better waterfront, especially if we add ( developments) residential”.

Sandy Mazza can be reached by email at [email protected], by calling 615-726-5962 or on Twitter @SandyMazza.

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