NASHVILLE | New Stadium

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This has SO much potential! The stadium is already in a great location compared to other modern stadiums. Still disappointed they never passed Let’s Move Nashville, it would’ve made this a great example of an urbanist stadium for the US.

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Continuing the trend of new stadiums being amazing

I like the activation of the exterior with patios and retail, but I have to admit this thing looks like a Westfield mall.

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https://www.manicaarchitecture.com/page/tennessee-stadium

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Side note, as much as I love this stadium design and the overall masterplan, the subsidies this project is getting are vomit inducing. Hopefully it’s for a lot more than just the stadium.

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That is one of the hardest pills to swallow for this new wave of stadiums across the US. What I don’t really understand is the ownership of the stadiums following construction. Why wouldn’t the municipalities just be joint owners instead of handing over the stadiums to billionaires like Amy Strunk, Hearst, and Disney… Can someone ELI5?

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https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2022/11/09/manica-architecture-tennessee-titans-new-stadium.html

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The short answer is property/land value.

New stadiums nowadays are almost always built in a part of the city where land values are (relatively) low and prime for inducing a “rent gap.” In other words, the stadium is a catalyst for gentrifying a neighborhood that will result in a ton of complementary development and new tax revenue to the city. Therefore, the municipal government is willing to subsidize a stadium with no revenue from the team itself because they’ll make MORE than enough back in new up-scale condo taxes.

Edit: Also, these “stadium districts” tend to also be tourist destinations, so tons of tourist dollars.

Except those assumptions about tax revenue have been widely discredited. Studies and Econ experts have concluded that the tax-capture arguments for large stadium subsidies are at best magical thinking, and at worst a scam on taxpayers.

The major exception seems to be Las Vegas, which has a unique and efficient mode for value capture: hotels and casinos catering to the throngs of out-of-town fans. You’ll notice that nobody’s trying to build condos next to Allegiant, because stadiums have little to no effect on adjoining property values.

I completely agree that stadiums are an albatross for economic development. Sports, Jobs, & Taxes is a great book that’s considered one of the first comprehensive studies of this and the article you linked makes a lot of the same points.

What I’m saying is – Modern municipal governments know a stadium (by itself) won’t bring in money, but a Stadium District is a gentrification machine that has the potential to:

  1. Transform a neighborhood (the city govt can be seen as re-investing in their urban core)
  2. Make a developer very rich from charging insane prices for downtown condos.

That’s the trend now. Districts like this, or this, or this…are how sports teams are selling this to cities. And (I think) it’s “successful” at raising land values like crazy. However, that doesn’t mean I think it’s the right thing to do.

I’m also not against urban stadiums, but I agree with you that they aren’t the clear-cut benefit they’re sold as.

https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2022/11/10/east-bank-truck-stop-rmr-group-travelcenters.html

https://station-east.com/#leasing

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„ The terms backed by Metro Sports Authority on Monday include:

  • General development goals: A $2.1 billion stadium campus flanked by two 20-acre “stadium village” commercial districts on existing parking lots east of Nissan Stadium, which will be demolished when construction finishes.
  • A rough financing agreement: Metro Nashville will retain ownership of the stadium land and another now-undeveloped 100 acres around it, while the Titans take over maintenance of the facility.
  • Construction loans: Metro will contribute $760 million via a 30-year revenue bond that will be repaid with future sales taxes; the state will pay $500 million; and the Titans will fund the largest share — $840 million plus any cost overruns.
  • Maintenance, capital upgrades and insurance: The Titans will take over stadium maintenance, insurance and all capital upgrades. The team will also forgive roughly $32 million owed by Metro for necessary maintenance and pay the remaining $30 million bond for Nissan Stadium’s construction 23 years ago.
  • Community partnerships: Tennessee State University will have more access to the stadium for big games; CMA Fest revenues will still be split between Metro and the Titans; and Metro can hold five rent-free events at the stadium. Separately, community partnerships for education, training and discounts are being negotiated.
  • The Sports Authority will provide 2,000 on-site parking spaces.“

https://eu.tennessean.com/story/news/local/2022/12/01/nashville-stadium-key-vote-furthers-deal-with-tennessee-titans/69691788007/

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