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10 Potential Cities For The NFL If They Expand

"Brett Favre." - John Madden

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So the NFL top brass (and the Baltimore Ravens ownership) have not had the best few weeks because of their negligence in regards to domestic abuse. The NFL TV ratings, however, still are doing quite fine.

The NFL is still growing (unless Goodell wants to kamikaze the league) and gaining new fans domestically and overseas; so much that they may expand in the next 5-10 years. How many teams? I wouldn't be sure, but I can't see it being more than four teams max to bring the team total in the league to 36. The division would need to be realigned too.

It wouldn't be the smartest idea parity-wise because teams still consistently struggle to find a quarterback to lead their offense and some teams struggle to sell-out games, but monetarily it would be in the NFL's interest and the NFL loves'em some money. More viewership will lead to more ad revenue, and then MAYBE it could lead to overall lower ticket prices but that may just be a pipe dream.

These are the ten potential cities that the NFL could open up expansion teams in the near future; these are in no particular order and will only be continental US cities (sorry London). I could see a team being in Toronto, Canada some day, though. I'll add a few choices for nicknames/mascots but that's not completely important here.

1. Los Angeles, California

Pretty obvious choice out of the ten because Goodell has wanted an NFL team here since Day 1 as commissioner and he has been pushing for it every offseason. Would it work? I’m not sure because Los Angeles isn’t the best sports city (minus Lakers games), but let’s look at the stats.Metro Population: 18.1 millionClimate: 66 F (19 C) in downtown Los AngelesMedian Income for a family: $46,452 (Los Angeles County)Other professional sports team in city: (6; including the Angels and Galaxy)Other NFL teams people could be fans of: 49ers, Cardinals, Chargers, Raiders or RamsMascots: Los Angeles Fame (sounds like an XFL team), Los Angeles Tar Pits, Los Angeles Goodells
upload.wikimedia.org / Via Wikipedia

Pretty obvious choice out of the ten because Goodell has wanted an NFL team here since Day 1 as commissioner and he has been pushing for it every offseason. Would it work? I’m not sure because Los Angeles isn’t the best sports city (minus Lakers games), but let’s look at the stats.

Metro Population: 18.1 million

Climate: 66 F (19 C) in downtown Los Angeles

Median Income for a family: $46,452 (Los Angeles County)

Other professional sports team in city: (6; including the Angels and Galaxy)

Other NFL teams people could be fans of: 49ers, Cardinals, Chargers, Raiders or Rams

Mascots: Los Angeles Fame (sounds like an XFL team), Los Angeles Tar Pits, Los Angeles Goodells

2. Salt Lake City, Utah

You may be thinking “Come on, their market pull can’t be that great” but their metro population is in the top 50 of metro populations (#48 and a greater population than Buffalo’s metro population) and they’re a steadily growing area. BYU games always have solid crowds (63,000 seating capacity but in Provo) so people in Utah totally like football.Metro Population: 1.14 millionClimate: 52.1 F (11.2 C)Median Income for a family: $45,240Other pro sports teams in the city: 1Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Broncos, Seahawks, Cardinals or one of the California teamsMascots: Salt Lake City Joseph Smiths, Salt Lake City Crossroads, Salt Lake City Bonnevilles (Bonneville Salt Flats, anyone?)
markjrebilas.com / Via Mark J. Rebilas blog

You may be thinking “Come on, their market pull can’t be that great” but their metro population is in the top 50 of metro populations (#48 and a greater population than Buffalo’s metro population) and they’re a steadily growing area. BYU games always have solid crowds (63,000 seating capacity but in Provo) so people in Utah totally like football.

Metro Population: 1.14 million

Climate: 52.1 F (11.2 C)

Median Income for a family: $45,240

Other pro sports teams in the city: 1

Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Broncos, Seahawks, Cardinals or one of the California teams

Mascots: Salt Lake City Joseph Smiths, Salt Lake City Crossroads, Salt Lake City Bonnevilles (Bonneville Salt Flats, anyone?)

3. Portland, Oregon

I’m not sure how there hasn’t been a pro football team in Portland yet. They have everything the NFL would want in a city (see below) and would be a great regional rival to the Seahawks. The NFL seemingly doesn’t like the Left Coast, though. Metro Population: 2.3 millionClimate: 54.5 F (12.5 C)Median Income for a family: $50,271Other pro sports teams in the city: 2Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Seahawks, 49ers, Raiders, or BroncosMascots: Portland Migratory Birds, Portland Transit, Portland Seaway
50green.com / Via 50 Green

I’m not sure how there hasn’t been a pro football team in Portland yet. They have everything the NFL would want in a city (see below) and would be a great regional rival to the Seahawks. The NFL seemingly doesn’t like the Left Coast, though.

Metro Population: 2.3 million

Climate: 54.5 F (12.5 C)

Median Income for a family: $50,271

Other pro sports teams in the city: 2

Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Seahawks, 49ers, Raiders, or Broncos

Mascots: Portland Migratory Birds, Portland Transit, Portland Seaway

4. San Antonio, Texas

This could become an NFL city, but an NFL city by way of relocating the Oakland Raiders to San Antonio. It appears that is merely a threat, though. San Antonio may be a basketball town, but if there’s something Texans love more than the death penalty it’s football! Plus, it’s great to have another Texas team to beat the Cowboys every now and then, right?Metro Population: 2.28 millionClimate: 68.7 F (20.4 C)Median Income for a family: $53, 100Other pro sports teams in the city: 1Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Cowboys, Texans, Saints or CardinalsMascots: San Antonio Fiesta, San Antonio Gallop, San Antonio Rodeo (sorry these sound like WNBA and MLS team names)
atrecycle.com / Via AT Recycle

This could become an NFL city, but an NFL city by way of relocating the Oakland Raiders to San Antonio. It appears that is merely a threat, though. San Antonio may be a basketball town, but if there’s something Texans love more than the death penalty it’s football! Plus, it’s great to have another Texas team to beat the Cowboys every now and then, right?

Metro Population: 2.28 million

Climate: 68.7 F (20.4 C)

Median Income for a family: $53, 100

Other pro sports teams in the city: 1

Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Cowboys, Texans, Saints or Cardinals

Mascots: San Antonio Fiesta, San Antonio Gallop, San Antonio Rodeo (sorry these sound like WNBA and MLS team names)

5. Columbus, Ohio

Yes, there are already two other teams in the state. Yes, Columbus seemingly cares more about college sports than pro sports. But that potential of the students at Ohio State wanting to watch football (and give them another reason to drink; don’t drink and drive!) coupled with the population growth of Columbus is too sweet to pass up. Sure, there are people that will be fans of others teams in Columbus (typically Bengals, Browns and unfortunately Steelers), but I’d guess a large amount of Texans fans were Oilers/Titans (when they moved to Tennessee) or Cowboys fans before Houston got a team back.Metro Population: 1.97 millionClimate: 52.9 F ( 11.6 C)Median Income for a family: $47, 391Other pro sports teams in the city: 2Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Bengals, Browns, Colts, Lions or SteelersMascots: Columbus Explorers, Columbus Nasty Olentangy, Columbus Road Construction
upload.wikimedia.org / Via Wikipedia

Yes, there are already two other teams in the state. Yes, Columbus seemingly cares more about college sports than pro sports. But that potential of the students at Ohio State wanting to watch football (and give them another reason to drink; don’t drink and drive!) coupled with the population growth of Columbus is too sweet to pass up. Sure, there are people that will be fans of others teams in Columbus (typically Bengals, Browns and unfortunately Steelers), but I’d guess a large amount of Texans fans were Oilers/Titans (when they moved to Tennessee) or Cowboys fans before Houston got a team back.

Metro Population: 1.97 million

Climate: 52.9 F ( 11.6 C)

Median Income for a family: $47, 391

Other pro sports teams in the city: 2

Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Bengals, Browns, Colts, Lions or Steelers

Mascots: Columbus Explorers, Columbus Nasty Olentangy, Columbus Road Construction

6. Las Vegas, Nevada

Having a professional team in Las Vegas could be a problem for the NFL gambling wise (and coaches/players throwing games more likely), but if the NFL can somehow prevent that (easier said than done) then Las Vegas could work. An indoor stadium would be wise too.Metro Population: 2.03 millionClimate: 69.3 F (20.7 C)Median Income for a family: $58, 465Other pro sports teams in the city: 0Other NFL teams people could be fans of: California teams, Cardinals, Broncos or CowboysMascots: Las Vegas Slots, Las Vegas Scorpions, Las Vegas Pawners
a.abcnews.com / Via ABC News

Having a professional team in Las Vegas could be a problem for the NFL gambling wise (and coaches/players throwing games more likely), but if the NFL can somehow prevent that (easier said than done) then Las Vegas could work. An indoor stadium would be wise too.

Metro Population: 2.03 million

Climate: 69.3 F (20.7 C)

Median Income for a family: $58, 465

Other pro sports teams in the city: 0

Other NFL teams people could be fans of: California teams, Cardinals, Broncos or Cowboys

Mascots: Las Vegas Slots, Las Vegas Scorpions, Las Vegas Pawners

7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahomans have to want another geographical choice than the Cowboys or Texans. Oklahoma City also truly love the OKC Thunder and their college football, which can easily translate into a love for professional football in their city. This would probably be my second choice if I were deciding the next expansion team after Portland.Metro Population: 1.32 millionClimate: 61.5 F (16.4 C)Median Income for a family:Other pro sports teams in the city: 1Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Broncos, Chiefs, Cowboys, Saints or TexansMascots: OKC Twisters, OKC Oil Barons, OKC Thorax
iwedglobal.com / Via I Wed Global

Oklahomans have to want another geographical choice than the Cowboys or Texans. Oklahoma City also truly love the OKC Thunder and their college football, which can easily translate into a love for professional football in their city. This would probably be my second choice if I were deciding the next expansion team after Portland.

Metro Population: 1.32 million

Climate: 61.5 F (16.4 C)

Median Income for a family:

Other pro sports teams in the city: 1

Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Broncos, Chiefs, Cowboys, Saints or Texans

Mascots: OKC Twisters, OKC Oil Barons, OKC Thorax

8. Richmond, Virginia

Are you a Washington D.C. football fan in Virgina but not a fan of racism? Well then a Richmond expansion team could be just for you!Metro Population: 1.25 millionClimate: 58.8 F (14.9 C)Median Income for a family: $38,348Other pro sports teams in the city: 0Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Washington D.C. football team, Panthers, Ravens, Eagles or FalconsMascots: Richmond Non-Slurs, Richmond Canals, Richmond Manticores
richmondgov.com / Via Richmond Government

Are you a Washington D.C. football fan in Virgina but not a fan of racism? Well then a Richmond expansion team could be just for you!

Metro Population: 1.25 million

Climate: 58.8 F (14.9 C)

Median Income for a family: $38,348

Other pro sports teams in the city: 0

Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Washington D.C. football team, Panthers, Ravens, Eagles or Falcons

Mascots: Richmond Non-Slurs, Richmond Canals, Richmond Manticores

9. Sacramento, California

California’s big enough to add another team, even if another team relocates to Los Angeles. Maybe Sacramento can have affordable ticket pricing, unlike Levi’s stadium? Metro Population: 2.22 millionClimate: 60.95 F (16.1 C)Median Income for a family: $42, 051Other pro sports teams in the city: 1Other NFL teams people could be fans of: 49ers, Raiders, Chargers, Broncos or SeahawksMascots: Sacramento Serpents, Sacramento Steam, Sacramento Stingers (alliteration is cool, okay?)
kineticillusions.com / Via Kinetic Illusions

California’s big enough to add another team, even if another team relocates to Los Angeles. Maybe Sacramento can have affordable ticket pricing, unlike Levi’s stadium?

Metro Population: 2.22 million

Climate: 60.95 F (16.1 C)

Median Income for a family: $42, 051

Other pro sports teams in the city: 1

Other NFL teams people could be fans of: 49ers, Raiders, Chargers, Broncos or Seahawks

Mascots: Sacramento Serpents, Sacramento Steam, Sacramento Stingers (alliteration is cool, okay?)

10. Omaha, Nebraska (Wildcard city!)

Though Bo Pelini is doing everything he can to diminish their love, Nebraskans LOVE watching their Cornhuskers play. I’ve always felt it strange that Nebraska used to be this college football powerhouse, but no local or state professional football team. Nonetheless, this wild card choice could be prove that if you get a deep connection with the local population you’ll have strong fan support. This would be the least likely of my suggestions, however.Metro Population: 895, 151Climate: 50.7 F (10.4 C)Median Income for a family: $50,821Other pro sports teams in the city: 0Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Chiefs, Rams, Vikings, Packers or BearsMascots: Omaha Dingoes, Omaha Corn, Omaha FreebasersHave better suggestions? Let me know in the comments.
blogcastalia.com / Via Blog Castalia

Though Bo Pelini is doing everything he can to diminish their love, Nebraskans LOVE watching their Cornhuskers play. I’ve always felt it strange that Nebraska used to be this college football powerhouse, but no local or state professional football team. Nonetheless, this wild card choice could be prove that if you get a deep connection with the local population you’ll have strong fan support. This would be the least likely of my suggestions, however.

Metro Population: 895, 151

Climate: 50.7 F (10.4 C)

Median Income for a family: $50,821

Other pro sports teams in the city: 0

Other NFL teams people could be fans of: Chiefs, Rams, Vikings, Packers or Bears

Mascots: Omaha Dingoes, Omaha Corn, Omaha Freebasers

Have better suggestions? Let me know in the comments.

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