There just seems to be talent in abundance in the NFL. There are so many good players for each position, that some might think it is time for an NFL expansion. I live in Texas, and things are always bigger in Texas. Therefore, I’ve always liked bigger things. (No homo) I’ve always been a fan of expansions of leagues and playoffs (if it is done right). I would be ecstatic if the NCAA expanded the College Football playoffs. I’ve been screaming for years that the NBA needs to add two more NBA teams. Now, I look at the cities that could use an NFL team. It’s not only one of the United States’ more popular sports, but there’s quite of the following growing internationally. The more teams and publicity you have, the better. Check out the teams that could use an NFL team the most.
The Unusual Cities
As I was researching teams that could use an NFL team, I was thinking about some unusual options that the NFL could do. There have been rumors about London. I personally think it’s too much to play 8 home games to play in London. With the time change and how far it actually is, it’s just not a reliable option. However, I’ll entertain the idea. If the NFL chooses to go with a team here, the clear option is to do something Medieval with the brand. The option that comes to my head the most is the London Knights, or I could see the London Kings, something along those lines would be cool.
Why Hawaii? Cause it’s Hawaii?! Duh. Nice beaches, beautiful weather, players will go play there just for the environment. But, like London, the time change and how far it actually is will make it hard. Although, it is slightly better than the London situation. Here, the brand I’m thinking of is tribal. The Hawaii college football team is named the Rainbow Warriors (big fan of the name). Naturally, I think something along those lines will be best for branding. Imagine this team having a wild jersey concept like a tie-dye jersey? Wild.
Mexico City, Mexico
I don’t really like this option, but it is an option. While it would grow the NFL internationally, this is just isn’t a place I would recommend. The air is bad in Mexico first off. The Raiders played a game here and they said the air was horrendous. I’m not completely sure, but I have heard that it could be unsafe at times. Sure, for one game it might be fine, but living there or playing 8 games a year there might be dangerous if that is true. However, if we were to put a team here, the obvious choice is to go with something cultural for the brand. I’ve seen Madden use the Golden Eagles with a green and red concept. Something bright and stands out would definitely make this team be noticed.
Okay, we’ve had our fun, but now let’s get serious. It’s time to get some real reliable options for an NFL expansion. While the ones listed above were an option, they seem less feasible than these cities.
Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver/Winnipeg/Quebec City, Canada
Here is the best way for the NFL to increase internationally. All of these cities have enough people to sustain an NFL team and are close to the U.S border. You might be thinking, “What about the Canadian Football League?” If you weren’t, you get the point. The CFL can’t hold the NFL’s nut sack. NFL reigns supreme. Anyway, Toronto has at least 5 million in their population, Montreal has 3.5 million, Vancouver has 2 million, and even Winnipeg & Quebec City has at least 700k people. I lumped all of these cities together because there shouldn’t be more than 1 or 2 Canada teams. If there is a team in Toronto, there shouldn’t be any teams in Montreal or Quebec City. Canada could sneak by with 3 if we were crazy and put a team in Vancouver, Winnipeg, and one from the other 3. But let’s just say 1 NFL expansion team from Canada, for now, would suffice.
St. Louis, Missouri
I was never a fan of the Rams relocating. I get why they did it, for money. But the Chargers going to LA makes more sense than the Rams going there, location wise. Oh well. St. Louis needs a team. They took out a team in the Midwest and added it to the coast. There are too many teams on the coast and the middle of the U.S. needs some love too. Of course, they can’t go with the Rams because of LA. But St. Louis is the city often associated with music. That is what I’m thinking the brand should be. They could say the St. Louis Sound or something of that nature. Is there any other color to go with other than Blue here?
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
We need to give some love to the Southwest region too for an NFL expansion. Oklahoma has been a pretty dedicated football state, and after adding an NBA team there, an NFL team would be the next step for them. With a population of about 650k, their population can sustain an NFL team. For the branding, I think they need to stick with this thunder theme. Unfortunately, lightning is out of the question, given at how similar it is to the Chargers. But, Oklahoma is in the middle of tornado alley. They could go with that or something along the lines of the Storm or Cyclones.
Louisville is thought of more of a basketball city, but let’s not act like Kentuckians don’t like football. It starts getting crowded in this area for football, but it’s not as crowded as the plethora of teams in the North East. With a population of 600K, it’ll be enough for an NFL team. Now the branding should be easy on this. You have to honor the Colonel in KFC. Louisville Colonels, that was easy enough.
I know you heard me gripe about how most teams are on the coasts, but this one makes sense (along with Vancouver) for an NFL expansion. Seattle is all by their lonesome in that Northwest region. Portland would be a good rivalry for Seattle that may not even be in their division or conference. Much like the San Francisco and Oakland rivalry they had for years. As for branding, I can only think of animals. The Ducks would just be a rip off of their Oregon’s college team. There are the beavers but is any team going to be thrilled called that. Maybe the Portland Hipsters? I don’t know, to be continued.
San Antonio/Austin, Texas
This is a personal favorite of mine for an NFL expansion. I was born and raised in San Antonio. Even though I already have my NFL team in the Las Vegas Raiders, I wouldn’t be able to help at least rooting for this team. Not only is it one of my favs, but it also makes a lot of sense. San Antonio has the 7th highest population in the United States, 2nd to only Houston in Texas. Here’s the kicker though, Austin and San Antonio are only about an hour or 2 away from each other. You’d be attracting fans from two cities. Combined, they have a population of at least 2.5 million. Barely behind Houston. There’s also some push back to this city though. This would make for 3 teams in Texas and Jerry Jones from the Dallas Cowboys and vocally been against another team in Texas. But the teams in San Antonio are loyal, look at the Spurs, and it is a good market for the NFL. As far as a brand, is there any choice to go with anything other than something to the Alamo? The name has to be something related to Generals or Commandeers, something like that.
This list is the best I could come up with for teams that could be a target for an NFL expansion. With as much talent is in the NFL, it isn’t too far-fetched to think the NFL could be looking to expand soon. Especially since the NFL is growing at an exponential rate. Either way, I’ll be excited for any teams they could in cities. It’s good for the league.