Most Deserving Cities For A New NFL Football Team Right Now

los angeles

The NFL, just like every professional league across the world, is always eyeing its next move — most of the time that includes expansion. But where?

It’s no secret the NFL has shown interest internationally in cities such as Toronto, Mexico City and London. But realistically, which cities could support a franchise, new or relocated, right now?

First, let’s start with…

The Obvious

Los Angeles (pictured above)

Metro Population:  13-18 million

Last Year with Team: 1994

Why it would work:

L.A. is the second largest market in the country, with 10 million residents in the county alone. The City of Angels held both the Raiders and Rams between 1982 and 1994 before they both relocated for better stadiums. Now, after 20 years of NFL exile, the NFL believes there will be a team in Los Angeles within the next 12-24 months. 

The Rams, who have failed to bring in a supportive fan base in recent years and hold an apathetic owner in St. Louis, are free to leave at any time. The Chargers, who are unhappy with Qualcomm Stadium, supposedly have a fee if they leave, however that penalty lessens each season. And the Raiders’ lease in Oakland is up at the end of this season. All three teams have played in Los Angeles at some point and still have fans in the greater L.A. area. All have had rumors surrounding a move back to L.A. 

A stadium will be built eventually. But even if it takes the next ten years, a newly renovated Rose Bowl or Coliseum could host an NFL team in the time being. 

L.A. is much too rich for the NFL to be dragging its feet upon any longer. 

The Rose

portland

Portland

Metro Population: 2.3 million

Last Year with Team: 1985 (USFL)

Why it would work:

Al Davis reportedly thought about moving the Raiders to Portland decades ago. Still, in 2014, fans are hungry for a team and trying to lure the black and silver to Oregon.

The ‘City of Roses’ is the fourth largest TV market without an NFL franchise and is far enough away from Corvalis and Eugene to attract a large pro fan base. The city has also done a great job of supporting the Trailblazers over the last four decades. And don’t forget that Nike calls Oregon home, so sponsorship (and jersey designs) would likely be out of this world.

The Fort

san antonio

San Antonio

Metro Population: 2.2 million

Last Year with Team: 2005 (Hosted 3 Saints games)

Why it would work:

Aside from the fact the city goes crazy for a successful team like the Spurs, San Antonio was the fastest growing top 10 American city this past decade and is the fifth largest TV market without an NFL team. Don’t forget Texas is a hot bed for football and San Antonio is far enough way from Dallas (Cowboys), Houston (Texans) and Austin (Longhorns) to still develop a rabid following.

The Alamodome is also an NFL ready stadium that fits 65,000 people and hosted the Saints for three games following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  

The city seems to think they are a viable option for the Raiders, as the team visited the city earlier this year. Some think it’s all a PR move. Either way, San Antonio could be a great fit.  

The Capital

oklahoma city

Oklahoma City

Metro Population: 1.3 million

Last Year with Team: Never

Why it would work:

Sure, OKC might not be the capital you would think of first, and it isn’t a bustling metropolis, but it is a mecca of football. 

Oklahoma, like much of the midwest, attracts fans from multiple states and has overwhelmingly supported their basketball team with non-stop sellouts. The city also has a larger population than Kansas City, Atlanta and Miami and has been ranked one of the fastest growing economies in the country.

 

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.

Photo Credit: Getty