Questions and thoughts about a potential new stadium for the Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Amy Adams Strunk expecting a new stadium being part of her plan for the Titans in Nashville.

She said that in the summer of 2019 and it was clear as the Titans started talking about stadium renovations with the city.NissanStadiumNight

But as talks between the team and Nashville advanced, per Thursday's report from Nate Rau of Axios, it became clear that a renovation the scope of what’s necessary for Nissan Stadium would be so expensive that an entirely new stadium may be the way to go. [Unlocked]

In response to the report, the Titans offered this statement:

“Over the past year, we’ve been gathering community feedback and digging deep into the needs of the stadium. We’ve worked with multiple experts to help us learn more about those needs, and 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 mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems need to be completely replaced. The window system throughout the building is so antiquated that it is not even manufactured anymore. All of these new revelations are adding up and moving a renovation price (to) nearly double what we initially anticipated. 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.

“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 re-imagination (of) 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.

“With all this in mind, we need to take a step back and re-evaluate if a stadium renovation is the most responsible option forward and explore other paths.”

The River North development, characterized as a modern Wrigleyville, is supposed to help offset a good share of the cost. But financing is not the only big question about a potential new question. Here are some others with some thoughts.

Where, precisely, would the stadium be?

The same general area of the East bank of the Cumberland River downtown is a certainty. The question is if the parking lot east of the stadium is big enough for it to be built while the Titans continue to play in the current venue.Nissan Stadium

If the team did that and then the old building was imploded and turned into parking – structures, probably, not just lots, that would be ideal. Ingress into Nissan Stadium for fans has always been underutilized from the West side because the stadium is so close to the river and there isn’t significant parking or tailgating on that side of the building.

Perhaps there are alternatives in the River North plan that would allow a new stadium to shift north or south. But the current venue is really in a perfect spot with the John Seigenthalter Pedestrian Bridge to the south and the Woodland Street Bridge to the north.

Would the Titans have to find a temporary home?

If the construction of the new venue requires blowing up the old building before getting started, the team could need to play elsewhere for a time.

Nashville SC’s new stadium is slated to fit 30,000 fans and could be a serviceable alternative that would work far better than the Liberty Bowl in Memphis in 1997 and Vanderbilt in 1998 did while the Tennessee Oilers awaited the completion of what was then Adelphia Coliseum in 1999.

The field dimensions should work.

The Titans have hosted the soccer club while they waited on their stadium so a return of the favor shouldn’t be an issue.

Roof or no roof?

I am all for an open-air football stadium. Nashville has reasonable seasonal weather and is thus a good place for football. But are 10 football games a year plus potential playoff games and sprint/ summer events enough to anchor such a costly building?

The last new open-air NFL venue was Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif and that cost an estimated $1.2-$1.3 billion in 2014. In 2010, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. cost $1.6 billion.

The indoor U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis cost $1.6 billion in 2016 and the indoor Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas cost $1.9 billion in 2020.

The cost difference there in making it a year-round venue could well be judged worth it for Nashville. That would mean more concerts and a stadium likely to get into the rotation for the Super Bowl, the College Football Championship and playoffs and The Final Four.

I’m generally anti-retractable roof. They are often more about showiness than practicality. The ones in Houston and Indianapolis are closed far more often than they are open.

The Texans once went six years without opening the Reliant Stadium roof. The Colts open Lucas Oil Stadium’s roof and window about a quarter of the time.

Toss out the super-lavish Sofi Stadium which had major cost overruns outside Los Angeles nd cost about $5 billion and the next-most recent retractable roof venue, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, cost $1.9 billion in 2017.

If a new Nashville stadium comes to be and it’s going to be an enclosed venue, I’d vote for making it the best indoor venue possible rather than spending extra money on the fancy mechanics necessary for a roof that will likely open only periodically.


Look, it's a personal prayer. 

There is no such thing as a shared stadium anymore.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

But maybe it's time for someone to invent one, with major moving parts. (Can't happen, right?)

The Tampa Bay Rays aren't longing to come be the Tennessee Titans' tenant. But what if you designed a new venue no one has ever so much as dreamed of? If you imagine MLB in Nashville and the Titans are getting a new stadium, it might be the only way. 

Because how could this city ever build MLS, NFL and MLB stadiums in a span of 20 years unless a miracle person is showing up in town and funding baseball by himself?

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