Nissan Stadium upgrade plans put on ‘pause’


Tennessee Titans stadium too expensive to renovate Image: Tennessee Titans

Negotiations for $600 million in upgrades to Nissan Stadium in Nashville (US) have been put on “pause” as new studies show extensive renovations needed beyond what was expected, officials said.

The ‘Tennessean’ stated that the National Football League (NFL) team Tennessee Titans and Metro Nashville may scrap their plans to renovate the 23-year-old Nissan Stadium, and instead build an entirely new home for the NFL team on the East Bank.

The Tennessee Titans are a professional American football team based in Nashville, Tennessee (US). The Titans compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) South division, and play their home games at the Nissan Stadium.

The 69,143-capacity Nissan Stadium is a multipurpose stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Owned by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, it is primarily used for football and is the home field of the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL) and the Tigers of Tennessee State University.

The ‘Tennessean’ further stated that the decision came after recent construction and design studies revealed that key structural elements in the facility need to be fully replaced. Earlier research neglected to account for new structural pipes, windows and other extensive 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 been planning a major redesign of the entire East Bank for more than a year, across from the Cumberland River from downtown.

They envision a new neighborhood surrounding the Titans home with an entertainment district like Wrigleyville in Chicago. Beyond that, more than 200 acres of land is slated for redevelopment into a new neighborhood in place of an old industrial area mostly filled with surface parking lots.

Initial estimates that the stadium needed $600 million to be upgraded to a “world-class” facility on par with Cities like Miami (US) were farther off than expected.

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

The added costs also include complete replacement of the mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems.

The revelation caused the Titans to take a break from negotiations with the Mayor of Metropolitan Nashville, John Cooper, as they take a step back to explore more options.

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

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

Cooper said in a statement, “Revised cost estimates require us to closely review whether a new stadium would be a better long-term financial decision for Nashville. We won’t settle for anything but the best-case scenario for Nashville.”

Guerra continued, “We remain committed to our original mission: Find an elegant solution to upgrade the stadium to first-class, NFL-quality standards and remove Nashville’s general fund from stadium business once and for all through a reimagination our current lease structure, which as it stands today, puts the burden of an aging stadium’s costs on the City and Nashville’s general taxpayer.”

Metro Council Member Brett Withers, who serves District 6 where Nissan Stadium is located, said the possibility of investing in a new stadium may be more cost-effective in the long run, given the way the current stadium was constructed and its advanced age.

He added, “You sort of are looking at either you can invest in a stadium that doesn’t even meet today’s standards, hope that you can renovate it somewhat, and have it last 20 or 30 years, which seems unlikely, or would you take the same funds or maybe slightly more to build a new stadium, and so that seems to make more sense.”

A new stadium could also be constructed closer to the InterState, which Withers said is “really appropriate from a planning standpoint and really helps us to build a better riverfront, particularly if we’re adding residential (developments).”

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