Nashville Mayor John Cooper says that he and the Tennessee Titans are seemingly nearing a pact that would alleviate all financial responsibility for the team’s reported new enclosed stadium from taxpayers, according to an op-ed he published in The Tennessean on Thursday.
In the piece, Cooper said his goal was to take the taxpayers off the hook for any potential costs of a new Titans stadium and hold the team accountable for coming up with most of the funding needed; the $500 million in bonds Gov. Bill Lee asked the state legislature to earmark for the stadium project, notwithstanding.
Cooper said he is seeking to protect Metro’s General Fund — which pays for maintenance and upkeep costs of Nissan Stadium through 2028 under the terms of the Titans’ current lease with the city — from being ravaged by the team’s pursuit of a new multi-billion-dollar stadium.
Ostensibly, Cooper said, the Titans (through private funding) and visitor spending (via the proposed 1-percent increase in the city’s hotel-motel tax) should be solely responsible for footing the bill for a new stadium.
Under Cooper’s vision, the Titans would also bear the financial responsibility of any stadium upkeep, and money from property tax and sales tax increases will not be used to fund stadium construction or maintenance costs.
A potential new Titans stadium could cost as much as $2 billion with, as noted, $500 million coming from the state. The Adams family, which owns the Titans, are also reportedly willing to invest as much as $700 million of their own money to fund the stadium.
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