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With Possibility of St. Louis Exp. Team, What Other Cities Would You Consider Good Expansion Fits?


BigDingus
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https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2021/10/09/could-st-louis-emerge-from-rams-relocation-case-with-an-expansion-team/

 

Relevant Quotes from the article:

 

"As the powers-that-be come to grips with the power they don’t have in a Missouri court that will conduct a trial of the litigation challenging the move of the Rams to L.A., the possibility of an expansion team as part of a potential settlement of the case has been floated in league circle with the stature and influence to float such concepts."

 

"...a new team for St. Louis could be dangled as a way to wrap up the case."

 

"If the NFL would promise a new team within, for example, five or 10 or 15 years, the league would likely find another place to park a new team, bumping the league from 32 to 34 franchises."

 

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Oh man, that's an exciting prospect! It would certainly make things a bit more complicated, as 8 divisions consisting of 4 teams is basically perfect, but going to 33 opens up a whole new can of worms breaking up that balance.

 

As the population of the country continues to grow, it becomes more & more viable for new cities to get their own franchise. If we're being honest, many cities that are considered "small markets" by modern standards are now larger than a lot of others that got teams 50+ years ago. Buffalo may be a small city in terms of population, but the metro-area keeps it in the top 50 (49th overall, Buffalo/Niagra Falls - 1,167,000 population).

 

But some other larger metro markets include:

 

13. Riverside/San Bernadino/Ontario - 4,940,000

17. San Diego/Chula Vista/Carlsbad - 3,300,000

22. Orlando/Kissimmee/Sanford - 2,675,000

24. San Antonio/New Braunfels - 2,560,000

25. Portland/Vancouver/Hillsboro - 2,513,000

28. Austin/Round Rock/Georgetown - 2,285,000

37. Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport News - 1,800,000

41. Oklahoma City, OK - 1,425,000

44. Richmond, VA - 1,315,000

45. Louisville/Jefferson County - 1,285,000

47. Salt Lake City, UT - 1,258,000

 

If you just look at city populations (Buffalo - 76th Overall), you got cities like:

 

7. San Antonio, TX - 1,581,000

11. Austin, TX - 974,000

14. Colombus, OH - 905,000 (but does Ohio need a 3rd NFL team, nah...)

22. Oklahoma City, OK - 681,000

23. El Paso, TX - 680,000

25. Portland, OR - 652,500 (barely less than Boston)

29. Louisville, KY - 633,000

39. Omaha, NE - 486,000 

43. Virginia Beach, VA - 460,000

 

 

These are all larger than cities like Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Cleveland, Tampa, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Oakland, etc.). Hell, you could even throw Honolulu in there, as I'm sure that'd be a fun & unique spot for a team in the NFC/AFC West (population 350,000 with a state population of 1.5 million).

 

Even the city I live in has only 20,000 less people than Buffalo (Lubbock, TX) and over double that of Green Bay's 107,000 population. If you give an expansion team to St. Louis, the optimal number to EVENTUALLY (key word) get to would be 40. Article states 34, but that would ideally grow over time. So who would the 7 best locations be for future expansions be? As we've seen time & time again, cities that are large don't necessarily = best fan bases or fan turnout & support.

 

I think it's crucial to the success of a new team to have a dedicated, fully supportive crowd than just sheer potential numbers. You can put the Chargers in LA, but with so much to do in such a massive city, it's harder to fill out a 25,000 soccer stadium with interest fans than it would be for a smaller town to put up nearly triple that number. Unless the team is a front-runner, turnout will be dim. And in today's NFL, TV rights & marketing agreements generate most of the revenue anyway. Teams like Pittsburgh & Green Bay (and to a lesser extent Buffalo) didn't grow a national fanbase because their cities were big after all, it's the culture & connection to the teams, and those fans are who you want to attract.

 

With that being said, the 7 other locations outside of St. Louis I'd like to see get an expansion team, even if 20 years down the line, would be:

 

1. San Diego, CA - They had one, they got screwed, and they still deserved one. City even offered to pony up half the funds to contribute towards a new stadium, but Spanos had his eyes set on LA)

2. Austin, TX - Been there a million times, can easily fill out a 100k stadium for UT games, and aren't "Cowboys territory" as Jerry would like to believe.

3. Portland, OR - They have the Trailblazers in the NBA & are passionate fans. City would love for another major pro organization to drop a team there.

4. San Antonio, TX - Another TX location, but one that makes complete sense. Top 7th largest city in population, top 25 in total metro population, diehard fans, support the Spurs like their own children, supported the displaced Saints after Katrina, and are further away from Dallas than Houston is, so no, not Cowboys country (unless Houston counts as Cowboys country too).

5. Oklahoma City, OK - Higher population than cities like Atlanta, KC, Miami, etc., combine it with Tulsa's Metro & you're at 2,450,000 people as the entire state's team. They sure as hell support the NBA's Thunder, and live & die by Oklahoma & Oklahoma State football. A pro team would kill it there.

6. Omaha, NE - The Cornhuskers fill out a 90,000 capacity stadium & are passionate fans. This idea is more "I just think it's cool," as I'd like some of those midwestern states to have some rep closer to home. Nebraska (2 cities in top 100 population), South/North Dakota (Sioux Falls/Fargo), Iowa (Des Moines), Kansas (Wichita), etc. all could have a centered team within its sphere of influence. You know, for all those rural folks :)

7. Montreal, Quebec - Screw Toronto, Montreal should be the first international NFL team. Population of 1,800,000 with a 4,250,000 metroplex. Nearby other places like Ottawa (another 1,000,000+ people), and neighboring Vermont & New Hampshire, it'd provide an international appeal that Canadians can rally behind (that doesn't interfere with the Bills) as well as giving those poor souls who are told they're supposed to cheer for the Boston... I mean "New England" Patriots, a real home team. 

 

Obviously, the NFL has a big interest in London, but the logistics just make that a nightmare. They may force it eventually, but I think it'll leave a lot of people (particularly players & coaches) unhappy. If they're going to fly overseas, I'd rather go with something like Honolulu like I referenced above.

 

Anyway, post turned out into another one of my long-winded rants. A lot of probably bad suggestions in there, but I think any number of these areas could yield far more successful results for a permanent, thriving NFL fandom than many of the large markets the NFL drools over.

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I live east of Los Angeles in what’s called the Inland Empire (Riverside/San Bernardino). People elsewhere have no idea just how large of an area and big of a population base lives here….almost FIVE MILLION people! It’ll never get an NFL team but the numbers really are shocking.

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Just now, JoPoy88 said:

Within the US? I’d say Portland. I don’t think JJ wants another team in Texas, even though they have the population and the available markets.

 

Without the US? Maybe Mexico City? London is a logistical challenge. Montreal sounds nice too.

 

Toronto would get first dibs if the NFL expands into Canada. Location of the Bills notwithstanding.

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2 minutes ago, JoPoy88 said:

Within the US? I’d say Portland. I don’t think JJ wants another team in Texas, even though they have the population and the available markets.

 

Without the US? Maybe Mexico City? London is a logistical challenge. Montreal sounds nice too.

Mexico City or Montreal. Of course international markets have their own set of issues.

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3 minutes ago, Sheneneh Jenkins said:

Isn't Toronto already mostly Bills fans though?

 

You would think that, but go into the city on a Sunday afternoon, and it's a large mix of fans cheering for different teams. The Bills Toronto series couldn't sell out half of the Skydome Rogers Centre. Torontonians want their "own" team. 

Edited by Draconator
Damn stadium name changes
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There are plenty of NBA fans in Portland and there are over a hundred people who follow men's soccer here (which I assume is a sort of globetrotter like novelty) but I see approximately zero hope of sufficient support for an NFL team in Rip City.

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Considering San Diego, I believe they tore down the Chargers old stadium and replaced it with a smaller one for San Diego State University, so a new location will be required, it would have to be outside of The city and it’s surrounding smaller cities and suburbs, the NFL left a bad attitude with many of the fans there, I know some that have stopped watching the NFL altogether…which is hardly surprising considering, 

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This is one of my favorite topics.

 

1.  I am not sure that St. Louis would have much of an appetite for the NFL at this piont...and might want that big check instead.   I am pretty sure the NFL really would rather not expand, but in this special case...maybe they'd be forced to....but...

 

2.  Here is why the NFL has NO interest in expansion....

 

@BigDingus did a great job of posting potential markets, and reasoning why they should have a team.  The reason it doesn't matter is the the NFL is a mature domestic TV market.  They get nearly the same or better ratings in NON NFL markets as they do in current NFL markets. This matters because the leauge can not gain additional eyes on TV's by expanding.  Instead, if they expanded, they'd have the same viewership, but would have to share that money with another owner or 2 or 3 or 4.  I am SURE none of the current owners want to take the same 32 piece pie and cut it into smaller pieces.

 

Ideally, the NFL would problaby like one CURRENT team to move to London and one to Canada.  Unlike expansion, this would draw alot of new eyeballs to TV's in new markets wich means a bigger pie for the current 32 owners to share.  

 

If they did expand, for example if ST Louis did get a team out of this settlement, then the NFL might be inclined to add one domestic team and one in Canada and one in London.   Whatever they do....keep in mind that it would need to result in more revenue.  

 

It's fun and interesting to consider soem of the markets that don't have teams now....but Austin is never getting one.  Jerry Jones won't have it.  Houston needs all the market share they can get too.  

 

Portland is interesting, but again, no REVENUE reason to put a team there....too bad because the league could use another west coast time zone team.

 

San Diego is a great market, but they aren't building a stadium and the leauge gets no revenue benefit to go threre...plus high taxes etc....it's not vaible without a publicly funded statdium at minimum.

 

Anyhow.....I stand by my points....ony if it increases revenues....will the NFL expand.  bank on it.

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San Diego would be the obvious choice...

 

Toronto...for expansion into different countries

 

London or Mexico City for the same reasons as above...

 

San Antonio perhaps...

 

Columbus maybe...

 

I doubt any expansion in Riverside due to market conflicts...no way the owners there would allow it.

 

 

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