While browsing through my daily reading materials, I saw this from Pro Football Talk linking to a report about the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Mayor John Cooper reaching a deal for a new home to replace Nissan Stadium.
And because we’re on obsessive stadium-building watch when it comes to the Bears and Arlington Heights, some immediate connections came to mind.
At minimum, this is a situation worth monitoring:
Some worthwhile things to note through PFT and the Axios reporting.
Firstly, the stadium projects to cost $2.2 billion. That’s a pretty penny, to be sure. But it’s not as if the Titans are doing a ton of heavy financial lifting. The Titans are expected to chip in with $800 million in private funding. That isn’t even half of the project’s estimated cost. There are also notes from Axios’ reporting regarding funding coming from $500 million in state bonds, a 1 percent tax on Davidson County hotel room rentals, and sales taxes. And yet, the Titans covering just $800 million of the price tag for their future stadium has me doing a double-take.
Elsewhere, what also stands out is the pitch for a new stadium includes the tease of hosting a Super Bowl, the Final Four, College Football Playoff games, superstar concerts, and events of that nature. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It should.
All of this is worth keeping in mind as the Bears go through with the Arlington project. Particularly the money stuff. A wise journalism school professor once told me that Rule No. 1 is follow the money. And that Rule No. 2 is to re-visit Rule No. 1. Remember, the Bears say they do not plan on reaching out for public funds for the stadium, but seem to be angling for assistance in funding for stadium-adjacent infrastructure projects. That seems like a tedious workaround. One the Titans won’t be dealing with as the team and Nashville mayor have agreed on splitting the bill with the Titans chipping in less than 50%. In any case, we’ll monitor this situation as it develops because we simply can’t ignore the parallels. Especially not with the Bears being on their quest to leave Chicago for the suburbs.