Titans estimate Nissan Stadium liabilities at $1.8 billion | Metro government

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CEO Burke Nihill shared the Titans’ interpretation of the city lease on Thursday, putting Nashville’s potential liability at $1.8 billion through 2038.

The Titans estimate that Nashville will have to pay $1.8 billion in maintenance and renovations, if the Titans extend their lease at Nissan Stadium through 2039. If they don’t, Nihill is fixing the short-term obligations of the city to $1.2 billion over the next four years. years.

Presented to the Metro Sports Authority’s finance committee on Thursday morning, Nihill, the Titans’ former general counsel, laid out the Titans’ interpretation of the lease. Much of the estimate boils down to what it means to maintain a “first-class stadium,” the language included in the lease signed in the late 1990s by then-mayor Phil Bredesen. Nihill compared the even stadiums to Nissan’s current state, finally laying out the total amount the Titans could legally demand from the city.

Nihill told the To post that he had yet to share those numbers with Mayor John Cooper’s office, the party representing Metro in ongoing stadium negotiations. Cooper’s office said Thursday it had “no intention” of commissioning its own study.

Dan Hogan, a member of the board of directors of the Metro Sports Authority, prompted the presentation of the Titans to ask a question in April.

“It’s a bigger responsibility than any of us ever anticipated,” Hogan told the To post. “While not entirely a surprise, it is shocking. We need to know what estimates are going to be applied by the Titans and the Mayor’s office to determine what is bondable before we can do anything meaningful. The fact is we’re already on the hook.It’s a matter of how much relief we can get in a new deal.

Nissan’s upgrades come from Metro’s general fund, a tax burden that the mayor and the Titans have attempted to shift to a combination of revenue streams supported by sales and hospitality taxes. The state will pay $500 million for a new stadium and the owners of the Titans, led by billionaire Amy Adams Strunk, have pledged around $700 million, a figure corroborated today by Nihill’s presentation. The mayor’s capital improvement budget, released last week, included $2.2 billion for a new stadium, as well as additional infrastructure costs to develop the surrounding neighborhood.

The Titans currently pay tens of millions of dollars for maintenance and upkeep at Nissan Stadium, including billable costs to Metro. The Titans have not been reimbursed since 2016, according to a team spokesperson.

Scenarios become hazy if negotiations are not settled quickly. The current lease is set to expire 90 days after the last game of the 2028 season. The Titans hold a unilateral option to extend the current lease through 2038. With a new stadium, the Titans would not exercise that extension, according to the team. . Without a new stadium, the team is not ready to say definitively whether they would exercise the extension or consider other options. Nihill told the To post that the team did not consider leaving Tennessee or rule out the possibility of a facelifted Nissan under a new lease, a scenario specifically allowed by the contract.

“We haven’t ruled out any possibilities, we are still exploring all possibilities, but it is increasingly unwise to do so due to the condition of this current building,” Nihill said via a spokesperson.

The more numbers that come out, the more it looks like Nashville is being pushed into a corner by a lease signed in 1996 by a city desperate for professional football. Negotiations turned to how best to get out of a thicket of increasingly costly legal commitments and billions of dollars in obligations.

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