Nissan Stadium, the arena the Tennessee Titans call home, is celebrating its 20th birthday this month.
While 20 is an advanced age for a stadium for some professional sports team owners, the Titans’ owner would rather go the renovation route than try to build a new place.
‘I don’t want a new stadium’
Chatting with the midday hosts of Nashville station 104.5 The Zone on Friday, Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, the daughter of franchise founder Bud Adams, was asked about Nissan Stadium.
Her answer was refreshing given what we’ve seen a heard from other billionaire team owners.
“I don’t want a new stadium,” she said, via show co-host Paul Kuharsky. “But I do like the Hard Rock Stadium [where the Miami Dolphins play]. That’s a very interesting model and one that we need to keep looking further at to make improvements.
“I’m all about making it the best stadium for our fans that I can without being ridiculous. Because at the end of the day the stadium doesn’t win football games.
“That’s important to me: Fan experience. We have a lot of areas we get better at every year. We’ve got to just keep looking down the road for what would be the best thing for our stadium to become.”
Adams Strunk spoke with The Zone in Canton, Ohio; she’s there for the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies with offensive lineman Kevin Mawae, who spent the last four years of his career with Tennessee. Mawae is a member of the Class of 2019.
Nissan Stadium, which broke ground in 1997, was built for $290 million and has a capacity of just over 69,000.
Renovations can still be expensive
While significant renovations aren’t cheap, they are certainly better than a new facility: the going cost for an NFL stadium is inching toward $2 billion.
It’s estimated the Raiders’ building in Las Vegas will cost $1.9 billion, while the Atlanta Falcons’ new facility came in over $1.6 billion. Georgia taxpayers are paying about $700 million of that.
Adams Strunk’s words are a contrast to comments published earlier this week from Carolina Panthers’ owner David Tepper. In a Sports Business Journal profile, Tepper said he’d like a new, retractable dome stadium in Charlotte, but won’t do it without taxpayer help.
He did say he would make a “big investment” in the project as well.
It isn’t just Hard Rock Stadium’s renovation that Adams Strunk seems to like — she also liked that it remained open while construction was taking place.
“I definitely think so. I think we can retrofit it,” she said. “Whenever this transpires. Whenever we get to this point that we feel it needs to be done, I think that the stadium can be retrofitted in a Hard Rock way.”
The Hard Rock improvements cost about $425 million; $350 million of that was privately financed.
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