NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In 1999, when the venue opened, it was Adelphia Coliseum. It’s also been know as The Coliseum, LP Field and, since the summer of 2015, Nissan Stadium.
— Toby Wilson (@TobyWilson45) May 19, 2017
Well positioned on the East bank of the Cumberland River, across from an increasingly bustling downtown, it’s never ranked as a crown jewel of NFL stadiums.
But it’s a mistake to call it merely functional and to designate it as charmless.
The steady upgrades of the building have made a noticeable difference. Some of it’s been as simple as paint. Black, gray concrete or cinder blocks made it look unfinished a dreary. But in recent years, they’ve smartly dressed things up, and that makes a big difference.
On a larger scale, the giant video boards make the replay situations as good as anywhere in the league. The sound system’s been upgraded. There are new seats.
There has always been a good view from every seat.
I think it’s a good place to watch a football game, a soccer game or a concert.
They’ve worked hard to improve game-day operations. Getting cars in and out of the parking lots, getting people into the stadium and having efficient concessionaires and better things to eat shouldn’t be the big process it’s been.
That’s a function of the people doing the work, not the building. After firing Aramark, they’ve hired Legends hospitality. No one wants to hear how the new guys have to learn the venue, and that it will take some time for things to run smoothly. The Titans will presumably have a practice or two there before their Aug. 19 preseason home opener. Concessions need to be an absolute non-issue from the very start.
As for the building itself ...
There are frequent questions in Nashville about the building, especially with the lease up in 2028. There is a share of the fan base that seems to covet an indoor building and a spot in the Super Bowl rotation.
Thirty-year life spans tend to be the norm for a standard stadium, and that clock has gotten faster in some places.
Forget the Super Bowl.
Yeah, it’d be nice to have one, but if the cost is building a multi-billion dollar palace, then no thanks.
We have no idea what sort of vision controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk has for the team’s homefield beyond 2027.
But Nashville absolutely doesn’t need an indoor stadium. It definitely does not need one with a retractable roof. Too many cities spend a huge amount of money for the option to open a roof, and then rarely push the button.
The weather is generally good, and there is still something to be said for playing in the elements.
Music City in one of the most popular cites in America. It doesn’t need to follow the lead of Houston, Indianapolis or Atlanta. It needs to make smart choices that other cities can look at as an example.
Maybe the team and city come up with a plan for a great new building that won’t break the budget for 30 years. Hopefully the Titans, who moved here in 1997 as a result of a stadium fight with the city of Houston, never threaten to leave as a way to get what they want.
Nashville doesn’t need to jump into a trend and spend a fortune to build a palace for its football team. Continued upgrades and renovations of Nissan Stadium are the way to go. The city and the team are smart enough to forge that path.
If Nashville and the Titans decide to build something new, they should build it on what’s there, not blow it all up and start over.