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Cities The NFL May Expand To In The Future



The NFL has a huge following in the United States, and fans get incredibly excited at the thought of getting a team close to home. Therefore, nobody is surprised that expansion rumors get floated around constantly.
Our team has broken down which places are the leading candidates most likely to land a new franchise, and what exactly it would take for that massive transition to come to fruition. Which city deserves one most? Where do you think a new NFL team is most realistic? The business decisions are more complicated than you assume, but we think you’ll enjoy the likely candidates.

Austin, Texas

Even though Texas is the second largest state, it isn’t one of the three that have 3 NFL teams. Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, and its proximity from Dallas and Houston allows it to represent the western part of the state. It could be an easy win for the league.

Birmingham, Alabama

Just the fact that Alabama is the second largest US state without an NFL team makes a case, but it’s the devotional love for their state’s college programs that make the argument even more convincing. Birmingham makes sense as the capital, and it’s no doubt the citizens would support the movement immediately.

Orlando, Florida

Just like Texas, the state’s size alone begs for a team in each major city. Orlando is the lone one out, for now, and it’s not a bad place to expand, considering it has 75 million annual visitors, and the Pro Bowl and other NFL events are already held there. You would expect a packed house.

Louisville, Kentucky

The middle of the country is in desperate need of more representation in pro sports, and a place with tons of collegiate sports fandom like Kentucky could use its first major team. Football would be a huge hit in a passionate town like Louisville, and it’d only improve the NFL’s cultural reach.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

We’ve already seen how the state of Oklahoma responded when being granted their Thunder in Oklahoma City, and who’s to say that wouldn’t be replicated the second you announce a new NFL team. After all, between the Sooners and the Cowboys, we already know the state’s fans are crazy for football.

Sacramento, California

It’s odd that Sacramento only has an NBA team, but with LA and San Francisco stealing much of the population, it’s time for a team to come to the state’s capital. It also helps that nearby Oakland has left a gap to fill.

Columbus, Ohio

What even most football fans may not know is that the Columbus Panhandles played the first NFL game ever back in 1901. With Ohio State being in Columbus, and Cincinnati and Cleveland being struggling franchises, fans would hop over. Ohio has plenty of football fanatics, and some probably want to jump ship.

San Antonio, Texas

Even though Texas is the second largest state, it isn’t one of the three that have 3 NFL teams. San Antonio is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, and its proximity from Dallas and Houston allows it to represent the western part of the state. It could be lan easy win for the league.

Honolulu, Hawaii

The NFL already knows it has the demand in Hawaii thanks to the past Pro Bowls, but what’s even more convincing is how many players would hop on the opportunity to live and place in paradise. Much like Miami, it could be a selling point all on its own, giving the NFL pacific flare.

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is a football powerhouse with a massive fan base for the Oregon Ducks who consistently compete for championships. Everyone knows they have crazy fans, and an NFL franchise would only blow their numbers out of the water. It could help the smaller Oregon town grow, and give the west coast another team.

Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha is a major midwestern hub, and it’s a shame they only have Cornhuskers football for now because the people there want a pro team so badly. If the NFL did decide to grant Nebraska a team, it’s inevitable that the state’s population would rally around resoundingly.

St. Louis, Missouri

It should go without saying that the people of St. Louis have a sour taste in their mouth after the Rams franchise moved to L.A., but the best way to fix it would be to give them back what they had no say in losing. We know it works, and it’s a championship caliber city, full stop. There should be an NFL team there.

San Diego, California

Just like their friends in St. Louis, San Diego natives had to deal with the grueling reality of losing a team to politics and money despite having passionate fan bases. California has the population and funding to make it happen, and San Diego would gladly welcome their team back.

Memphis, Tennessee

Being as big of a state as Tennessee is with a handful of large, populous cities, Memphis would be a nice addition in contrast to their friends in Nashville. Memphis once submitted an application, but now could be the time for them to really push their argument, as the city clearly fits the mold.

London, England

The NFL has constantly flirted with the idea of moving a team overseas, and London has always been the first choice, considering they’ve planted the seed with annual games there. Would they expand Jacksonville there? A brand new team? Either would be exciting, but come with an array of new challenges.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Professional sports have long been absent from Albuquerque, but that could easily change if the NFL gives them a chance. There’s no doubt the citizens are itching for a common team to route for, and it’d shape up a nice rivalry with the SoCal, Arizona, and Texas teams. Why not?

Oakland, California

We know Oakland is more than capable of housing an NFL team, because, well, they were doing it last year. Though stadium negotiations got the best of them, and the idea of a shiny new team in Vegas prevailed, there’s no reason they should have lost out. The people want their team back.

Salt Lake City, Utah

The coolest part about Salt Lake City getting an NFL team would be that it’d continue to help fill the largest regional hole in the country along with newly moved Las Vegas. Utah has the fans if you look towards the NBA’s Jazz, and we all know how popular college football is to the Utes.

Davenport, Iowa

Iowa already has a huge following when it comes to football with the University of Iowa and Iowa State, but most pro fans are torn between Minnesota and Chicago. Let’s fix that by giving them their own NFL team in Davenport. Highly doubt a single Iowan wouldn’t be excited.

Anchorage, Alaska

All Alaska needs is a dome in Anchorage and they’d be able to play professional ball. The people of Alaska enjoy sports too, and what better way to finally include them than getting them involved in the most popular sports league. The wider representation in the NFL, the better.

Bismarck, North Dakota

North Dakota has developed a reputation as a big football state thanks to its success in college football, but why not give both north and south a chance to share a team and put it in the hub that’s already thriving. Dakota citizens of both places would welcome a franchise.

El Paso, Texas

We said it before and we’ll say it again – Texas is huge and El Paso, with a population of 600k+ clearly has the required size and money to host a franchise. Most of Texas is already heavily invested in football, and a franchise close to home would be a welcome surprise.

Hartford, Connecticut

Of all the cities in the US without a team, Hartford may have the greatest case, as it’s the largest metropolitan district without one. The NFL would have a welcome home there, as Connecticut could easily break away from New England and have a dedicated following of their own.

Richmond, Virginia

With the Washington Football Team undergoing identity changes, there’s room in Virginia for a new franchise. Richmond would be the most obvious choice if presented the opportunity, and it’d probably capitalize on its neighbors in the area to create fun rivalries.

Portland, Oregon

Portland has been one of the cities to show just how powerful expansion can be, as they saw their Timbers MLS franchise win a championship in a matter of years. Everyone knows Portland is a thriving city with tons of Ducks fans, and an NFL franchise would flourish there thanks to its diverse population.

Mexico City, Mexico

Another city abroad with the highest possibility would undoubtedly be Mexico City, the only other place the NFL has played international games. With its close proximity to the US, Mexico already has a ton of NFL fans, and it’d be relatively easy to implement without dealing with time differences.

Edmonton, Canada

Edmonton is already a part of another American sporting league, so why not be Canada’s first addition to the NFL. It’s population is passionate, players don’t mind living there, and it’d immediately be much more competitive than the CFL, which would draw fans quicker than most.

Barcelona, Spain

While this may seem like a random choice, Barcelona still could be a part of the NFL expansion. With a healthy population and no shortage of passionate sports fans, Barcelona could be a team that allows the NFL to expand its culture and representation.

Frankfurt, Germany

A further reach and bigger pipe dream, Frankfurt could be a city one could imagine the NFL going as soon as they expand internationally. It’s one of the biggest cities in Germany, and millions of people would band behind a team that represented parts of Europe outside the U.K.

Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk is a lesser-known city, but its bustling atmosphere would be the perfect place for an NFL team to settle where it’s not. The varying nature of the area from D.C. and a separation from the Washington franchise would be a welcome addition for many Virginians.

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas immediately works not only just because of Texas’ well-known love for football, but because Austin only has one professional team (in the MLS) and is the country’s 10th largest city. It’s also more than 160 miles from either Dallas or Houston, and could easily find a home in University of Texas’ stadium, which has a capacity of over 100,000 while they worry about building their own.

Chicago, Illinois

Hard to believe Chicago becoming home to a second NFL team? Think again, because there have already been talks once it was announced the Bears would be leaving Soldier Field. This means a new team could start there, then expand to somewhere potentially outside the city limits, expanding their reach and the number of NFL home games in the city each year.

Memphis, Tennessee

Did you know Memphis actually hosted the Oilers one season? Yep, that was in 1997 after the team moved from Houston to Tennessee, and before the Titans found refuge in Nashville, they played at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, which could still easily be utilized today. They already have an avid NBA fan base, and college football is prominent all throughout the area.

Monterrey, Mexico

While Mexico City is often presented as the first and only option for an NFL startup in Mexico, Monterrey is in many ways a more realistic decision. Not only is the elevation factor nowhere near as crazy, but the city is a whopping 500 miles closer to the U.S. border than the capital. Not saying they both wouldn’t draw fantastic crowds, but from a proximity standpoint, it’s much easier.

Vancouver, Canada

Canada has long awaited an invitation or opportunity to join the NFL, but nothing has come to fruition considering the relative success of the CFL in its own right, which would undoubtedly suffer with NFL expansion. However, they have a ready facility there, and an immediate rivalry across the border with Seattle would be an immediate selling point. Also gives the west coast more teams.