(Center Yard) – The East Bank Stadium Commission in Metro Nashville heard an overview of its commitments to reform the stadium, including the legal section’s definition of the key “first-class clause” in latest meeting.
The terminology is key as the committee evaluates the city’s options related to the current Nissan Stadium and Titans’ proposal for a new $2.2 billion stadium, which could include up to $1.5 billion in public funding.
Margaret Darby, director and special counsel in the Nashville Metro Board Legal Office, said Thursday that the lease requires Nashville to maintain the stadium in accordance with law, in good condition and repair with expected natural wear and a level of improvements and technology “present from time to time at a reasonable number of facilities. similar.”
These stadiums were completed within 10 years before or after Nissan Stadium was completed on July 30, 1999.
“When I hear the acceptance of normal wear, my mind immediately jumps to the carpet,” Darby said. “You’ll walk on the carpet and you’ll have natural wear. This is not something that needs to be done in order to keep something in top-notch condition.”
Darby said the new technology clause applies to new technologies found in the majority of similar facilities.
“I think the main gist of this is that we don’t have to pay for things that are early on in the kind of technology you’re adopting,” Darby said. “So if the new thing was to have a screen at the back of every seat so you could watch it while watching the football match, that wouldn’t be something we would have to pay for even the majority of similar facilities did.”
Lease terminology became key after Titans CEO Burke Nihill estimated at a sports authority meeting in May that the city was obligated to pay 1.839 billion dollars In repairs and upgrades before the end of the team’s current lease.
Metro Nashville plans to hire Venue Solutions Group for At least $250,000 to conduct a study, due to be completed in November, on those commitments after the group estimated in 2017 that the city would need to complete $293.2 million In capital improvements over 20 years on the field.
“(In 2017), I think VSG was just doing an assessment of the systems in the facility to determine what kinds of systems are there, the life of those systems, and when they might need to be replaced,” Darby said. “…I’m not sure they were looking at it from a rental perspective so much as it was just…here’s a building, here’s what’s inside and here’s what future maintenance, repairs, improvements, and replacements might look like.”
The city plans to try and get revenue bonds to pay for its $1 billion in funding, which will come from state and local sales taxes at the stadium and the surrounding area along with a 1 percentage point hotel and hotel tax increase.
Council member Sean Parker added that any shortfall in revenue bonds would be Metro Nashville’s responsibility to pay using public funds.
Committee Chairman Bob Mendes indicated that the city would not go to a referendum before acquiring the bonds because that capacity comes only from the general obligation bonds, not the revenue bonds that have been proposed for the stadium project.
The commission is scheduled to convene on August 18, when the group will consider the city’s reform commitments under the existing lease.
On August 31, Mendes plans to invite Mayor John Cooper’s office and the Titans to a committee meeting to provide an update on a potential stadium deal.