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Rating Action:

Moody's assigns Aa3 to Sports Auth. of Metro Gov't of Nashville & Davidson Cnty (TN's) $103.73M Rev. Refunding Bonds Series 2021A, 2021B and 2021C

27 Apr 2021

New York, April 27, 2021 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned Aa3 non-ad valorem tax obligation ratings to the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Sports Authority's (TN) $34.02 million Federally Taxable Public Facility Revenue Refunding Bonds (East Bank Stadium Project), Series 2021A, $9.465 million Federally Taxable Public Facility Revenue Refunding Bonds (Arena Project), Series 2021B and $60.245 million Federally Taxable Public Facility Revenue Refunding Bonds (Ballpark Project), Series 2021C. Moody's maintains a Aa3 non-ad valorem rating on the Sports Authority's outstanding parity debt. The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County's outlook is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The Aa3 non-ad valorem tax ratings are notched once off of Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County's (Metro Nashville) GOULT rating (Aa2 stable) given the strength of the Metro's backup General Services District (GSD) and Urban Services District (USD) non-ad valorem pledges, which can be used to make up any revenue deficiency in order to pay annual debt service. Initial security for the issues is provided by various revenue streams unique to each bond series (see security section).

We regard the coronavirus outbreak as a social risk under our ESG framework, given the substantial implications for public health and safety. To date, Metro non-ad valorem revenues have not been needed to make up any deficiencies in primary revenues. Officials report that concert events and convention bookings continue to increase for the upcoming months and are expected to slowly return to normal levels. Sporting event capacity limits are also expected to gradually increase in the coming months as a larger portion of the population becomes vaccinated and infection rates decline. While Metro Nashville and the Sports Authority are not susceptible to immediate material credit risks related to the coronavirus, the area did experience significant reductions in its tourism and leisure industries. Sales tax revenues were affected but are continuing to rebound with strong collection rates through March 2021. A significant property tax rate increase (34%) was implemented for the current fiscal year (2021) which further diversifies Metro's revenue streams and helps to improve non-ad valorem debt affordability if primary revenues securing non-ad valorem debt were insufficient to fully cover debt service. The longer term impact will depend on both the severity and duration of the crisis. If our view of the credit quality of Metro Nashville or the Sports Authority changes, we will update the ratings and/or outlook at that time.

RATING OUTLOOK

The Sports Authority of Metro Gov't of Nashville and Davidson County does not currently have an outlook assigned.

The stable outlook for Metro Nashville reflects the expectation that Metro's regional tax base will continue to grow and provide the necessary revenues to support ongoing capital needs and governmental operations, including annual financial support to Metro's Hospital Authority.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OF THE RATINGS

-Upgrade of Metro Nashville's General Obligation Unlimited Tax rating

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO A DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS

-Downgrade of Metro Nashville's General Obligation Unlimited Tax rating

-Sizeable increases in GSD/USD non-ad valorem tax backed debt

-Declines in available GSD/USD non-ad valorem tax revenues which weakens debt service coverage

LEGAL SECURITY

The Series 2021A Bonds are not general obligations of the Authority or the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County but are limited obligations secured solely by and payable from a pledge of (1) PILOT payments, (2) Project Parking Revenues, (3) Basic Rent and in the event of a deficiency in the above revenues, from GSD non-tax revenues of the Metropolitan Government.

The Series 2021B Bonds are not general obligations of the Authority or the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County but are limited obligations secured solely by and payable from a pledge of Ticket Surcharge Revenues and in the event of a deficiency in the above revenues, from GSD non-tax revenues of the Metropolitan Government.

The Series 2021C Bonds are not general obligations of the Authority or the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County but are limited obligations secured solely by and payable from a pledge of (1) Sales Tax Rebate Revenues, (2) TIF Payments, (3) Team Lease Payments and in the event of a deficiency in the above revenues, from USD non-tax revenues of the Metropolitan Government.

USE OF PROCEEDS

Proceeds from the Series 2021A Bonds will be used to refund portions of the Authority's outstanding Taxable Public Improvement Revenue Bonds, Series 2012A, Series 2014 and a Pinnacle Loan for an expected net present value savings of approximately 6.33% of refunded principal. Maturities will not be extended, however savings of approximately $1.9 million will be taken in fiscal 2021 and 2022 in part, to offset primary revenue decreases that have resulted from the pandemic.

Proceeds from the Series 2021B Bonds will be used to refund portions of the Authority's outstanding Taxable Public Facility Revenue Improvement Bonds, Series 2013A, for an expected net present value savings of approximately 6.68% of refunded principal. Maturities will not be extended, however savings of approximately $433,000 will be taken in fiscal 2022 through 2024 in part, to offset primary revenue decreases that have resulted from the pandemic.

Proceeds from the Series 2021C Bonds will be used to refund portions of the Authority's outstanding Public Improvement Revenue Bonds, Series 2013A and 2013B, for an expected net present value savings of approximately 6.97% of refunded principal. Maturities will not be extended, however savings of approximately $2.2 million will be taken in fiscal 2022 through 2024 in part, to offset primary revenue decreases that have resulted from the pandemic.

PROFILE

The Sports Authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County is a public corporation and instrumentality of the Metro Government organized in 1995 pursuant to Chapter 67, Title 7 of the Tennessee Code.

The purpose of the Authority is to promote and develop recreational opportunities by facilitating the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of sports complexes, stadiums, arenas and other recreational facilities for the holding of professional and amateur athletic events.

The Authority is composed of a 13 member Board of Directors, whom are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Metro Council. Board members serve 6 year terms.

METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Lease, Appropriation, Moral Obligation and Comparable Debt of US State and Local Governments published in January 2021 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBM_1260202. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004.

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

These ratings are solicited. Please refer to Moody's Policy for Designating and Assigning Unsolicited Credit Ratings available on its website www.moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at http://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1263068.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU and is endorsed by Moody's Deutschland GmbH, An der Welle 5, Frankfurt am Main 60322, Germany, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the UK and is endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Limited, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5FA under the law applicable to credit rating agencies in the UK. Further information on the UK endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

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No Related Data.
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