Nashville mayor

Nashville mayor

Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s office filed legislation Friday outlining updated details for the Titan’s stadium deal ahead of a Metro Council review.

The definitive documents filed this week are scheduled to go before the Council for consideration March 7. The legislation will require three readings.

“I’m proud of this deal because it eliminates the enormous liability hanging over the city and returns valuable land back to Metro so we can build new affordable housing, beautiful parks and greenways, a powerful transit hub that reconnects neighborhoods and so much more,” Cooper said in a Friday news release about the legislation.

“This is a win for Nashville, and I’m grateful to our partners at the state and the entire team who has worked tirelessly for over a year to get it done.” 

Metro Council previously approved preliminary terms for the stadium deal by a vote of 27-8 with three abstentions. The council also passed a key bill allowing the city to begin collecting an increased hotel tax — but only if and when final deal terms for the stadium deal are reached and approved.

The bill authorizing a 1% hotel tax increase passed 27-5 with three abstentions. 

According to the proposal, new stadium construction would rely on about $1.26 billion in revenue bonds, sales and hotel tax diversions and state contributions, making it the largest public spend on an NFL stadium to date. About $840 million would come from private funding sources, including the team. NFL loans and grants and personal seat license sales will contribute $200 million.

“We are extremely appreciative of the efforts of Mayor Cooper and his office over the past several months as we worked to complete definitive documents,” said Titans president and CEO Burke Nihill in the Friday release.

“We believe these documents embody the core principles we presented in December and look forward to our upcoming discussions with Metro Council and the Sports Authority.”

At-large Council Member Bob Mendes, a vocal opponent of the plan to build a new stadium, said Friday afternoon that he won’t comment on the new legislation until he reviews the hundreds of pages of legal documents included in the package.

“About the new stadium legislation- it isn’t online yet,” Mendes wrote in a Tweet. “It’ll be posted by next Wednesday at the latest. I’m seeing if it can be posted before then. The legislation is 200+ pages of technical legal documents. I won’t have comments until I review it fully.”

What is different about the legislation filed this week?

The proposed final agreement filed Friday incorporates feedback from Metro Council and community members, according to a news release from the Mayor’s office. It also provides key details in the form of development and lease agreements.

The final agreement added street and plaza infrastructure to be covered by the Titans, in addition to infrastructure required to open the new stadium, which was included in the original proposal.

The new proposal said excess revenue generated by the sources used to repay Sports Authority bonds may now be used to fund additional debt service reserves or to prepay portions of the bonds early, thereby reducing interest costs. This adds financial flexibility to Metro’s end of the deal, according to the Mayor’s office.

According to the new proposal, the team agrees to front costs associated with maintaining functionality at Nissan Stadium until the new stadium is built. Metro will reimburse the team up to $42 million through revenue sources such as cash from the Sports Authority or sales tax from personal seat licenses. Metro’s maximum contribution is capped at that amount.

In response to an amendment in the term sheet resolution, passed in December, the Titans will create the Nashville Needs Impact Fund, to which the team will contribute at least $47 million. This fund can be used by nonprofits serving Nashville and Davidson County for public education, public transit, gender equity in sports and affordable housing.