Plan would refurbish Nashville school sports fields – Axios

Photo illustration of Nashville Mayor John Cooper with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Leah Puttkammer/Getty Images

Mayor John Cooper unveiled a plan Wednesday to refurbish 15 Metro Nashville Public Schools sports fields, including committing $5 million in city funds.

Why it matters: Cooper’s sales pitch is that by the time the Titans have a new stadium, the MNPS athletics programs will have new fields, too.

Details: The total price tag to resurface all 15 athletic fields is $15 million. Cooper is proposing to leverage private funding to cover the costs.

  • In addition to the city funding, the nonprofit organization The Foundation for Athletics in Nashville Schools, Inc. (Fans Inc) is embarking on a $5 million fundraising campaign. The Tennessee Titans have promised to match the money raised by Fans. Inc. up to $5 million.
  • The field resurfacing plan was unveiled in a story by NBC’s “Today” show.

What they’re saying: “As I travel around Nashville, I see how important it is that we invest in every part of our kids’ lives, including sports,” Cooper said in a press release.

  • “Our young athletes and incredible staff make the school board and all of MNPS proud every day, and they deserve facilities that match their outstanding effort and commitment,” MNPS director Adrienne Battle said.

The big picture: The Titans have been rolling out a community benefits program in recent weeks as part of their pursuit of a new stadium.

  • The team announced late Tuesday investments in the district’s academies of Nashville academics program, literacy initiatives and promotional support in addition to its commitment to athletics.

Be smart: Nashville attorney Jamie Hollin, who is president of Fans Inc., has been a fierce advocate for the under-resourced East Nashville High School football program.

  • Hollin says the fields are community assets used by MNPS teams and recreational sports leagues.
  • “Boys and girls of all ages, from every neighborhood, will soon be competing on premier fields and benefiting from this unique partnership,” he says.

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