NFL Expansion: Cities Other Than Los Angeles Where the League Could Go
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the league is potentially considering an expansion to 34 teams if it can place a franchise in Los Angeles, according to the Associated Press, and there are a number of potential candidates that could qualify for the league's 34th team.
The commissioner broke the news during an interview with Bob Costas on Costas Tonight, and he said that the league "doesn't want to move any of our teams," which doesn't come at any surprise considering the value an NFL franchise has to its community.
Los Angeles is the key to the NFL's expansion plans, and it could potentially house two NFL franchises in the same stadium. The chances of this happening are extremely likely, but I don't believe that the NFL wants to go in that direction.
Expansion is always a hot topic, and here are other cities that have the capabilities of maintaining an NFL franchise.
San Antonio, Texas
The city of San Antonio is the nation's seventh-largest city in terms of population, and there is no question that it has the means of becoming home to the NFL's 34th franchise.
The city already has a facility in the Alamodome, which could be used until a new stadium is completed, and the city has already shown its love for sports with the Spurs.
San Antonio is an attractive spot, but potential owners would also have to be aware of the tough competition for fans with the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Much like the city of San Antonio, Toronto already has a stadium that could be used in the immediate future and a heavy population that (in theory) can support a team.
Toronto has previously hosted Buffalo Bills games and has close to capacity crowds for every game.
This could the first move that the NFL makes in its global expansion plans.
The city of Portland may have the best chance of the remaining cities on this list to actually own an NFL franchise. Portland is the fourth-largest market without an NFL franchise, and it is a beautiful city that is crazy about its sports.
The Trail Blazers of the NBA and Timbers of the MLS bring fans out to every game, which means that the NFL could hit a home run with a team in the Rose City.
Las Vegas, Nevada
It is not hard to picture an NFL team in Sin City, but the actual chances of it happening are slim to none.
There have been a number of rumors circulating around the NBA about bringing a team to Las Vegas, but I believe it is waiting on another league to make the move first to see if it could work.
That reason alone gives me doubts about the NFL placing a franchise here, but the city definitely has the population and the money to support one.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The success of the Thunder alone makes me believe that an NFL franchise would thrive in Oklahoma City.
These fans supported the New Orleans Hornets like they were their own when the team was relocated during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which shows the passion that they have for their sports.
The NFL should take a good hard look at Oklahoma City if it does end up going with its expansion plans.
Omaha was probably not the first city that you had in mind, but it is a great candidate nonetheless.
Omaha is the nation's 42nd-largest city in terms of population, and it ranks above Raleigh, Miami and Cleveland, just to name a few.
Omaha also has the capital city, Lincoln, just 60 miles away, adding another 200,000 potential fans to the equation.
The city of Omaha is most likely not the NFL's first choice, but it should have a chance to prove itself worthy in the event that expansion does occur.
Mexico City, Mexico
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Mexico City has a metro population of over 20 million people, which makes it a very attractive suitor for the NFL's future endeavors.
The city has experience with the league, as it has already hosted a number of NFL games. The NFL also hosted its first regular-season game outside the United States on Oct. 2, 2005 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City before an NFL regular-season record of 103,467 fans.
There is a lot of money to be made in Mexico for the NFL, especially if they consistently sell out stadiums that seat over 100,000 fans.
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