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REPORT: Tennessee Governor Lee offers $500 million in funding for new Titans stadium

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We first heard about a proposal for the Tennessee Titans to build a new state-of-the-art stadium a few months ago, and Axios Nashville’s Nate Rau, who initially broke the story, came through on Monday afternoon with another development. Rau is reporting that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is asking the legislature to approve $500 million in bonds toward a new Titans stadium as part of his amended budget.

Lee’s commitment of $500 million represents just a portion of how much it would cost to build a new enclosed stadium in Nashville. The cost of building new NFL stadiums has ballooned towards $2 million in recent years. The report indicates that Gov. Lee’s willingness to help the team foot the cost of a new stadium comes with some strings attached — the money must go toward an enclosed stadium (or a dome), not an open-air stadium or a renovation of Nissan Stadium.

Rau reports that the state funds are also contingent on the Titans and the city of Nashville agreeing on a broader financing package. That’s where Nashville mayor John Cooper would enter the fray by offering additional funds from the city’s budget. Cooper and the Titans initially held talks around renovating Nissan Stadium, and the possibility of building a new stadium altogether entered the picture when the costs of that potential renovation where fully recognized.

For our local readers, a new stadium would potentially be a part of a dramatic centerpiece in the team’s broader plan to transform the riverfront in East Nashville with an ambitious mixed-use redevelopment project, Rau previously reported.

Building an enclosed stadium would allow the city appeals to host future events such as the Super Bowl, college basketball’s Final Four, the College Football Playoffs, and wintertime concerts. Those are just some of the possibilities a dome could present that Nissan Stadium currently does not.

It certainly qualifies as intriguing turn-of-events worth following closely. Stay tuned to MCM for further developments.