Titans Stadium Football

In this Sept. 10, 2017, file photo, Devin Walsh, left, and his father, Gerard Walsh, wait outside Nissan Stadium before an NFL football game between the Tennessee Titans and the Oakland Raiders in Nashville, Tenn. 

(The Center Square) – Metro Nashville government has formed an East Bank Stadium Committee that will be led by Councilmember Bob Mendes and will include seven members of the city council.

"With the media reporting that more than $1 billion of government bonds will be used to build a stadium, this may be the largest amount of state and local tax dollars ever spent on a sports stadium in the United States," Mendes wrote.

Mendes wrote that he plans to have an organizing meeting for the committee in the coming weeks. The committee is expected to examine the city’s involvement in the potential $1.5 billion of public funding planned for a new estimated $2.2 billion Tennessee Titans stadium.

"It will be important for the Council and the public to examine the eventual final proposal carefully," Mendes said. "My hope is that the East Bank Stadium Committee will help the Council and public learn the terms of the proposal as they become available and gather information for all of us to make an informed decision.

"I also expect that the committee will host meetings where the public can give us their thoughts."

Mayor John Cooper put the $2.2 billion stadium proposal in his Capital Improvements Budget request this fiscal year.

The state of Tennessee has committed $500 million to the deal, which it plans to bond, along with sales and use sales taxes from the state and city from purchases at the stadium and a potential neighborhood and development around the stadium.

The city recently approved its budget, which includes $200,000 for a stadium study to examine the city’s obligations under its current lease.

Titans CEO Burke Nihill told the city’s Stadium Authority in May that the city was obligated to pay $1.839 billion in improvements under the terms of the team's current lease.

But the team’s obligation is reliant on a determination of what providing a "first-class" facility means as the lease stipulates comparison stadiums and the services required with the definition.

An addition to the lease defined "first-class condition," in part, as being in compliance with law, being in good condition/repair with wear and tear expected and "having the level of improvements and new technology from time to time found at a reasonable number of Comparable Facilities" with further stipulations.

The Tennessean reported that a press release said that other members of the committee would be District 2 Councilmember Kyonzté Toombs, District 5 Councilmember Sean Parker, District 6 Councilmember Brett Withers, District 14 Councilmember Kevin Rhoten, District 23 Councilmember Thom Druffel and District 33 Councilmember Antoinette Lee.

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.