The City of Nashville’s Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency hired a local Nashville consulting firm to prepare the East Nashville River Development Study. Dennis Blind was the Project Manager for the consulting firm’s team. The purpose of the study was to transform an 83 acre, run-down industrial area located on the banks of the Cumberland River, between I-65 and Nashville’s historic central business district into a dynamic urban redevelopment project that would utilize public/private partnerships, create economic vitality, and define a vision for this gateway to downtown Nashville. The Study defined three redevelopment options for the 83 acre site:
1) Upscale, contemporary industrial/business/research park;
2) Mixed-Use Development, anchored by a new consolidated City Hall and Municipal Arena;
3) A One-of-a-Kind Development – an NFL Football Stadium.
Each option was analyzed and presented to the Blue-Ribbon Steering Committee and the public at large. At the time of adoption, Option 2 was determined to be the best redevelopment direction for the site. During the very early stages of implementing Option 2, the owner of the Houston Oilers announced their intention of relocating the NFL team. The Mayor of Nashville immediately contacted the NFL and “sold” them on the East Nashville River site! In 1999, the Tennessee Titans played their first game in the new stadium.