Officials Estimate Tennessee Titans Stadium Tax Fund Could Generate $70M Annually

Image Credit: Casey Fleser / CC

The Center Square [By Jon Styf] –

A tax fund scheduled to pay off revenue bonds from Nashville toward a new $2.1 billion Tennessee Titans stadium and available for future maintenance costs is estimated to generate up to $70 million annually during the Titans’ new 30-year proposed lease, which includes three additional five-year team options to extend.

The term sheet on the deal was discussed on Thursday morning at Nashville’s Sports Authority after the design of a new stadium was discussed Wednesday night at the East Bank Stadium Committee as Nashville’s leaders determine whether to sign off on Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s deal with the team.

The term sheet dictates that, along with $500 million in payment from the state of Tennessee and $840 million from the Titans, an NFL loan and personal seat license sales at the stadium, the city would seek $760 million in revenue bonds to pay for the stadium.

Those bonds would be paid for with stadium sales tax collections, a new 1 percentage point hotel/motel tax, a $3 ticket tax for all stadium events and 50% of the taxes collected from a new development on 130 acres of land outside of the stadium.

The $500 million state payment and hotel tax are dependent on a new covered stadium being built but the stadium and 130-acre tax outside the stadium that went into effect on July 1.

According to the mayor’s office, a 1% hotel-motel tax would have been worth $18.6 million last year. The in-stadium tax for 2023 is projected to generate $5.34 million in state sales tax and $3.3 million in local sales tax. Those totals would be expected to increase by 70% in a new stadium due to additional events, making it $9.1 million in state sales tax and $5.6 million in Nashville tax or $14.7 million in total stadium sales tax.

While there is no additional sales tax from the 130 acres now with only parking lots in the undetermined zone, consultants for Metro Nashville have estimated that the 50% zone on 130 acres could bring in an addition $15 million to $30 million annually. If the stadium hosts 30 events where it sells out its 60,000-seat football capacity, it would collect $5.4 million in ticket tax while that number would jump to $7.2 million if it was for 40 events.

The Titans are guaranteed eight or nine regular season home games in the NFL’s 17-game season, unless one home game takes place overseas in London or Germany. Capacity will be larger for concerts or events where seating can be added to the field area.

The tax fund must first be used to pay off the revenue bonds and then be diverted to a stadium capital improvements fund that the mayor’s office estimated is expected to be worth “hundreds of millions” of dollars.

The stadium project tax figures do not include expected public dollars and tax-increment financing zones that will be created for East Bank redevelopment and infrastructure outside of the stadium.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Titans CEO Burke Nihill noted that an artificial turf field allows for a new stadium to host concerts and other events in-season while an open grass field wouldn’t due to the potential for the field area to be ruined by on-field seating.

J.C. Bradbury, a sports economist from Kennesaw State University in Georgia, has noted that spending at a new sports stadium or development has consistently shown to be diverted spending instead of new spending for a region.

So a new stadium with more events and restaurants and a development outside would lead residents to divert where they spend their disposable income from other areas of Nashville or Tennessee, areas where the state and city currently collect sales tax or that funding goes into a different tax collection zone.

Because of that, using sales taxes to pay for a project or using general fund dollars have the same impact on the city’s budget.

“It’s a misnomer to say that it’s not raising taxes on locals because what you’re doing is transferring commerce that was already taking place in Nashville that was generating sales tax revenue for the city and state and then diverting that to the Titans,” Bradbury previously said. “So that’s revenue that was previously going to funding other priorities for government that now has to be made up through other means.”

Bradbury will give a presentation to the East Bank Stadium Committee at 4:30 p.m. next Thursday.

About the Author: Jon Styf, The Center Square Staff Reporter – Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.

5 thoughts on “Officials Estimate Tennessee Titans Stadium Tax Fund Could Generate $70M Annually

  • November 14, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    Did you know that the city reject the Republician National convention from being held in Nashville? One set of a small group of people vetoed the idea of the RNC coming to Nashville when they asked to come. This was an ask by the RNC, not bid upon like a superbowl or stanly cup between other cities, the RNC choose Nashville and the city council rejected it. Did you know, and I have worked both the RNC and the DNC and they rountinally bring in an economic impat of close to $400 million dollars to the host city. Is Nashville that stupid and so blue that they turn their backs on $400 million bucks, that would have gone a long way into paying for the new stadium. It is uncomprehensable that a few people are THAT jaded they would turn their back on an event that would have helped everyone in the city.

  • November 14, 2022 at 9:44 pm

    Some one needs to explain how OUR MONEY is going to generate money for US?????. We pay for the building the stadium. WE pay for the repairs needed. The ball team gets all the money and now you want me to believe we are going to get money?????????????????????? another government lie

  • November 14, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    Since when does the Constitution, Federal or State, allow the Governments to Finance “PRIVATE ENTERPRISE”???

    Taxpayer would have a better chance of “Winning” if Governments just took the money and bought lottery tickets.

  • November 14, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    Not a drop in the bucket for this Billion dollar white elephant, not to mention the yearly upkeep costs.

  • November 18, 2022 at 1:30 am

    Keep in mind when public funds are used for public-private-development-investment
    *Always multiply x3 the estimated public investment costs
    *Always cut in half the amount received by local municipalities.
    Then you are in-the-ballpark of actual monies either way


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