The following is a statement from Mayor John Cooper on Metro Council approving the non-binding term sheet for a new, enclosed stadium for the Tennessee Titans, as well as a 1% increase for the Hotel Occupancy Tax to help pay for the deal:
“By getting out of a lease that has become a billion-dollar liability, tonight’s vote is an enormous step toward a better future for Nashville’s neighborhoods and families. Metro will now be in a much stronger position to increase the investments in our fundamental neighborhood priorities—good schools, safe streets, affordable housing, new and improved infrastructure, reliable city services, parks and greenways and more – rather than putting good money after bad in a deteriorating stadium.
“I am grateful to Metro Council for their careful consideration of this deal, and ultimate vote of confidence. In particular, I’d like to thank the East Bank Committee for their hard work and scrupulous review of the proposal. I am proud of the transparency and robust community engagement throughout this process which included over 30 separate Council and neighborhood meetings, and answers to over 100 detailed questions submitted to my office by Council Members. I am pleased that after a thorough review of the plan, a strong majority agree this deal is a win for Nashville taxpayers.
“As we move toward the end of negotiations with the Titans, I remain deeply committed to putting Nashville taxpayers first, and I will not compromise on our core principles. This deal is about way more than football. It’s about what is best for Nashville’s financial future.”
In May, Mayor Cooper outlined seven commitments to residents any potential deal with the Titans would have to meet. Tonight’s deal, which passed Metro Council with over 70 percent support, meets all of them:
- Metro will not raise sales tax or property tax to pay for a new stadium.
- The Titans and visitors to the stadium campus will be the primary funding source for stadium construction.
- The Titans, not taxpayers, will cover any construction cost overruns.
- Unlike in the current lease, the Titans will take on the financial responsibility of maintaining the stadium.
- Metro will not sell any public land to finance the stadium.
- The campus will provide high-paying jobs, greenspace and affordable housing.
- Any new agreement will result in the Titans staying in Nashville for the long haul.