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Lee signs bill to allow Super Bowl contracts to remain hidden 10 years

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(The Center Square) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill into law that will allow Tennessee’s Department of Tourism to hide negotiated contracts for a potential Super Bowl and other events for up to 10 years.

The bill requires the records to be retained for at least five years after the 10-year exemption window.

The confidential items can be released 10 years after the date of the document, after the disbursement of state funds, the conclusion of the event and the expiration of the contract.

“I can’t see how anything can be held secret for 10 years,” Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, said during floor discussion of the bill. “That’s a long time.”

Department of Tourism Commissioner Mark Ezell recently said the department has $25 million in a mega event fund it can use for contracts related to a Super Bowl, Final Four or WWE-type large event. The funding came from last year’s Tennessee budget appropriations.

Rep. Andrew Farmer, R-Sevierville, said during House discussion that the bill would help bring the Super Bowl to Nashville in 2028, 2029 or 2030 after new Nissan Stadium is scheduled to open in 2027.

Lawmakers committed a $500 million subsidy for construction of new Nissan Stadium along with significant tax captures that contribute to an estimated $3.1 billion fund to pay off bonds and contribute to future maintenance and infrastructure at the site.

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