Itinerant Fan

Nissan Stadium

They do love their football in Tennessee, as they do throughout the South, so when the NFL came to the Volunteer State in the mid-1990s, it seemed like a natural fit. The former Houston Oilers franchise wound up settling in Nashville, rebranding itself as the Tennessee Titans, and since then has become a big part of a city that has raised its profile significantly over the last 20 years.

Its home stadium has changed its name a few times over the years — from Adelphia Coliseum to LP Field to Nissan Stadium — but the venue remains a solid if unspectacular place to watch football. In other words, not many frills but it serves its primary purpose quite well. And its location can’t be beat in a vibrant center of a growing metropolis.

  •   The Approach

    Nissan Stadium is located in what can be considered downtown Nashville, but it’s separated from all the tall buildings by the Cumberland River. That site works to the advantage of a football stadium in that it has the proximity to downtown but a fair amount of land all to itself for parking lots, space for tailgating and so on.

    Interstate 24 runs right by the stadium, though the two closest exits, Shelby Avenue and James Robertson Parkway, get clogged up as game time approaches (not surprisingly). Both exits lead to the numerous lots immediately surrounding the stadium, but all of them are permit-only for Titans games. If you don’t have a permit, aren’t planning to tailgate and you don’t mind a little walking, an alternate approach to avoid the traffic is to head into the downtown core, in essence driving away from the stadium, and park in one of the many structures downtown. In fact, the Metro Courthouse Garage advertises a $5 rate for events, including Titans games, and from there it’s just a short walk across the river.

    Wherever you park downtown, try to get as close to First Avenue as possible — that means you’re closer to the river, and thus closer to the stadium. There are two main river-crossing points, at Woodland Avenue and, further south, along the John Siegenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.

    If you’re looking to make sure that game day goes smoothly and unconcerned with price you may want to give Parking Panda a look. This is a service that allows you to reserve guaranteed parking spots ahead of time. Simply hop on their website, pay for a spot that works for you, and they’ll email you the parking pass. No matter how crazy downtown Nashville gets on game day, you’ll have a spot waiting for you. Check it out in the window below:

  •   The Build-Up

    If you’ve chosen to park downtown and walk, you’re in luck. There are plenty of places to eat and drink along the way to the stadium — downtown Nashville is full of bars and restaurants that cater to the football fan. A good starting point is along Broadway, where numerous honky-tonk bars set up shop between the river and Bridgestone Arena. Also check out First and Second avenues north of Broadway, with bars and restaurants both familiar and independent filling up most of the blocks.

    The tailgating scene in front of the stadium is typical of any NFL stadium around the country, but for a unique perspective, check out the bluff on the west side of the Cumberland River opposite the stadium, where some enterprising fans will set up tailgate camps with small grills, lawn chairs and a view of the venue that can’t be beat.

  •   The Ambiance

    Once inside, Nissan Stadium is a fairly unremarkable venue, symmetrical with only one level of seating behind each end zone. But at least the plazas behind each end zone is where you can survey your food options — most of the major concessionaires are represented there, in booths that look a little bit they got plucked from Frontierland at Disneyland, or at least your local county fair. You’ll find vendors such as Logan’s Roadhouse and Papa John’s, which also operate stands throughout the stadium. (For my part, I purchased a shrimp-and-fries basket from the Logan’s stand, which came out to $13 when I added a bottle of water to the order.)

    The Titans have largely fallen on hard times after a few heady seasons in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a period that included a trip to the Super Bowl and a legendary play now known as the “Music City Miracle” which took place on these grounds. So on this particular day, with the home team in the middle of another uninspiring campaign, the stands were less than full. Perhaps as a result, I was able to score a ticket in the upper deck right on the 50-yard line, which provided a great view if not a bit of a high one. Generally, if you avoid the top five rows in the upper deck, your view should be just fine, and if you like good views when there are breaks in the action on the field, get your seats in the eastern part of the stadium to see the downtown skyline.

    The struggling Titans, despite the best efforts of their new franchise quarterback, wound up falling to the then-unbeaten Panthers on this day. On the way out, the Titans fans didn’t seem to mind too much, suggesting they’ve seen this far too often, but no one seemed to have any complaints about the venue.

The Particulars

Home Teams
Tennessee Titans

1 Titans Way
Nashville, TN 37213

Year Opened


Upcoming Events
All times local
New York Jets at Tennessee Titans
Sunday, December 2, 2018
3:05 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Thursday, December 6, 2018
7:20 pm
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Washington Redskins at Tennessee Titans
Saturday, December 22, 2018
3:30 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Friday, December 28, 2018
12:30 pm
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Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Sunday, December 30, 2018
12:00 pm
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