Republican senators quizzed Gov. Bill Lee’s administration Tuesday on the proposal to commit $500 million to a new Titans stadium.
Driving the news: Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley discussed the proposal with lawmakers while presenting the administration’s budget amendment.
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Eley told the committee that Lee’s administration believes an enclosed stadium would allow Nashville to possibly host the Super Bowl, Final Four and more concerts.
«We believe now’s the time to do it,» Eley said.
Why it matters: The legislature must sign off on the $500 million in bonds.
The intrigue: State. Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) pressed Eley on the need to commit funds before a full financing deal is in place.
«Should we not wait until we have a clearer picture before we make a commitment?» Jackson asked.
Eley said that with inflation, the administration believes it’s smart to send the signal now that it intends to support the stadium project.
The state will have another opportunity to sign off on its contribution once a full financing plan is in place, Eley said, adding «if that doesn’t play out the way we think is prudent and in [our best interest], we certainly don’t have to go forward.»
State of play: State Sen. Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald) asked if the Titans could go forward with the new stadium project, expected to cost in the neighborhood of $2 billion, without the state’s funding help.
«It’d make it very difficult for them to proceed, in my estimation, if the state does not participate,» Eley said.
Eley also assured the committee that the state’s funding is contingent on the Titans ownership and Metro «stepping up in a greater proportion than our investment.»
🥕 Meanwhile, Lee’s amended budget includes $80 million to eliminate the grocery tax for one month.
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