Friday, February 3, 2012

Where Should 34th NFL Team Go?

Roger Goodell said that if an expansion team was placed in Los Angeles, the NFL would then add a 34th team. That being said, that is a huge IF. I would most likely bet on the Chargers, Rams or Jaguars moving to the new stadium in Los Angeles than an expansion team. Goodell doesn't want that to happen, but it very well could.

So if there is a 34th team ... who should get it?

1-TORONTO: This is an interesting choice, but I think they would be a frontrunner. They have a stadium (albeit an older one) and a nice fanbase. Obviously, it would open up the entire Canadian market for the NFL ... including some Canadian television rights fees ... but it would also stomp all over the CFL. The Buffalo Bills have been placing a home game there for the last few years so they've had the NFL in their city. Toronto is huge so there shouldn't be much trouble building a fan base and there would be natural geographical rivalries with Detroit, Cleveland and, of course, Buffalo.

Unlike other sports, Toronto won't have trouble attracting talent. While the taxes and Canadian lifestyle might scare off NBA and MLB players from the Raptors and Blue Jays, it won't be as big a deal in the NFL. Green Bay is highly successful for crying out loud.

2-PORTLAND: Portland is a great sports town and Oregon is a great sports state. I don't think losing the Portland market would hurt any of the Seattle Seahawks plans (though could Paul Allen figure into anything here?). Seattle is kind of on an NFL island so Portland would be a nice partner and and obvious rival. Nike has a huge presence there so there is money.

3-LOS ANGELES: What? Could Los Angeles actually have two expansion teams? That's the word but I don't see it happening. It will be hard enough to build one team from the ground up in the area, let alone two. It would also damage the Chargers who are already struggling being the only team in SoCal over the last 15 years. If anything, the Chargers could eventually move to be a co-tenant with the expansion team in LA (and don't think that little loophole won't be in any expansion franchise agreement). Of course, if the Chargers were serious about a move up the coast, the NFL wouldn't even bother expanding in the first place.

4-OKLAHOMA CITY: OKC has burst onto the pro sports scene with their support of the "borrowed" Hornets several years back and their support for the current Thunder. Oklahoma City reminds me a lot of Charlotte in the late 1980s to early 1990s. An NBA team showed the country what the city has for sports teams and the NFL cashed in on it. I can see the same thing here. Good football state who wouldn't mind dumping the Cowboys for their own squad.

5-MEXICO CITY: This would be a huge curveball that could really pay off. Mexico City has a huge metro area and would easily support an NFL team. But that is asking a lot of players to go there on purpose. I know that it is sort of in the same boat as Toronto but the Mexican culture is a much bigger shock to American players than the Canadian one. Still, you cannot tell me that this hasn't crossed Goodell's mind.

6-SAN ANTONIO: They are always in relocation discussions, but I just can't see the NFL heading here. While there are plenty of football fans to go around in Texas, that would mean people would have to quit the Cowboys or Texans. The Alamodome is serviceable but I'm not sure if it is a true NFL quality stadium.

7-LAS VEGAS: Doubtful, but not out of the question. If any league could figure a way to make pro sports work in Sin City, it would be the NFL. But it could turn into a nightmare since football is bet on more than any other sport. I think this is a headache Goodell doesn't want.

1 comment:

packchap55 said...

Mexico City would have a huge fan base with it's large population and the milloions more here in the United States illegally.