tennessee titans

Major League Baseball lobbies up in Nashville

Lobbyists Catie Lane Bailey, Annie Beckstrom, Mack Cooper, Nicole Oborne Watson, and Tony Thompson (Image credits: Tennessee Ethics Commission)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred’s office has signed up a team of five lobbyists at the Tennessee Capitol. They include Catie Lane Bailey, Annie Beckstrom, Mack Cooper, and Nicole Osborne Watson of Holland & Knight (the former Waller Lansden), which successfully advocated for $500 million in bonds for a new Tennessee Titans stadium in Nashville last year. Also hired last week was Tony Thompson, the son of the late actor and politician Fred Thompson (R-Lawrenceburg).

The registration forms don’t indicate what Manfred’s office wants from Nashville lawmakers, but the commissioner has publicly speculated about the Tennessee capital being in the mix for an eventual expansion team. A more mundane explanation might be pending legislation to remove a requirement for sportsbooks to use official league data under Tennessee’s sports gaming program.

Former Oakland A’s pitcher Dave Stewart has been leading an effort to bring a major league franchise to Nashville, with hopes of building a stadium near Tennessee State University. But while the group has gained celebrity backing and media attention over the last few years, it hasn’t included the sort of multi-billionaire investor that be able to cover the huge cost of landing and operating a team. The Tennessee Lookout reported in 2020 that former Gov. Bill Haslam had held serious talks with Manfred about leading a separate effort. But Haslam has since bought into the NHL’s Nashville Predators and is scheduled to become the majority owner in 2025.

In another twist, the Holland & Knight lobbying team landed another major sports client last week — the National Basketball Association.

Titans release renderings of proposed new $2.1B stadium

The Tennessee Titans are releasing renderings of what the NFL team’s new domed stadium would look like if the Metro Council in Nashville approves issuing $760 million in bonds to fund the local share of the $2.1 billion project. The state legislature has previously committed $500 million in bonds and the team, NFL, and season ticket holders would cover the $840 million remainder.

Here is the release from the Titans:

The Tennessee Titans today shared renderings of its potential new stadium, which would encompass 1.7 million square feet with a capacity of approximately 60,000. The renderings follow last week’s announcement that the team and the City of Nashville had reached a proposed agreement for a new, enclosed stadium, which will be discussed by Metro Council and the Sports Authority in coming weeks.

“We envision a potential new stadium that makes our community proud and enhances the reputation of our great city and state,” said Titans president and CEO Burke Nihill. “We’re focused on designing a stadium capable of hosting a prestigious international event on a Sunday and a steady flow of impactful community programming later that same week. This is a building that would serve Nashville and Tennessee for generations.”

The stadium designs were created by MANICA, a Kansas City-based architecture firm that has worked on projects such as Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and Chase Center in San Francisco. The team commissioned MANICA to produce the concepts in order to inform site planning and cost estimates.

Hastings, a Nashville-based architecture firm, also participated in the design work, with a particular emphasis on reflecting Nashville’s spirit and character, and a focus on seamlessly integrating the building into the proposed neighborhood surrounding the stadium.

The stadium architecture is inspired by the city of Nashville and is planned to be complementary to the broader East Bank development plan led by the City. The design gave specific attention to multi-purpose function, in order to maximize the number and types of events that could take place in the building.

Key features of the design include:

— Exterior terraces and porches with panoramic views of Nashville that will serve as social space during event days

— A circular-shaped, high-tech ETFE translucent roof

— Improved sight lines for all spectators through diverse viewing experiences

— High-tech and sustainable materials throughout the building

Other features of the building not pictured include a 12,000 sq. ft. dedicated community space that could be utilized year-round for educational opportunities, non-profit events and other community-minded purposes.

The new stadium will set a goal of achieving a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold certification. The Titans have not yet selected an architect of record for the building. A full architectural design process would begin at a later date.

UPDATE: Nashville mayor strikes stadium deal with Titans

Nashville Mayor John Cooper has struck a deal with the Tennessee Titans over the city’s share of funding for a new $2.1 billion stadium. Under the proposal, Metro Nashville would issue $760 million in revenue bonds.

The General Assembly previously approved $500 million in bonds, authorized 1 percentage point increase in the hotel tax in Davidson County, and allowed sales tax dollars collected nearby to help finance the new facility, which would be located next to the current stadium that opened 23 years ago. The Titans, the NFL, and season ticket holders would pay for the remaining $840 million.

While GOP lawmakers are mulling ways to punish the Nashville Metro Council for rejecting an agreement to host the Republican presidential convention in 2024, the football stadium is not believed to be among the areas they will seek to target.


Posts and Opinions about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.