Photo by Hence the Boom on https://unsplash.com/@hencetheboom
By Mufaddal Anis and Eli Elstein
Last week we detailed why now is the time that 8 teams should be added to the NFL, and how we see this happening. This week we will be expanding on that idea by giving our pitches for some cities that deserve a shot at hosting a team. Some of these cities have hosted teams before, some have hosted international games, some have been linked to possible expansion teams, and most are in areas that don’t have professional teams but could very well love one.
Below we’ve listed 13 cities that have potential for hosting an expansion team. This is more than the 8 that would be chosen in this proposed expansion, but there are plenty of great options for host cities. The NFL also loves to pit cities against each other for money as we detailed in our “Are Sports Teams Worth the Cost” podcast.
St. Louis, Missouri – The St. Louis Archers – This city is primed and ready for another NFL team after the Rams left to once again surf the rad beaches of LA. They have a fanbase that grew up loving football, and they are a perfect place for a future “NFC Central” team. They’ll get their name from the famous St. Louis Arch.
Mexico City, Mexico – The Mexico City Águilas Doradas – Mexico’s national animal is the golden eagle – aguila dorada. The NFL has been playing games in Mexico CIty for the past few years, and it’s time that the city got it’s own team, and the league gets its first international team.
Toronto, Canada – The Toronto Lights – Another international city. One of the things Toronto is known for is it’s great skyline, therefore we named the team the “Lights.” Toronto could be a great market for an NFL team, and has been considered a place for teams to move before, though it could possibly clash with the existing CFL football fans.
Portland, Oregon – The Portland Arbors – Ok so for this team name, we wanted to continue with the forest/wilderness theme that Portland teams have like the Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns. Portland already has three professional sports teams already, why not give them an NFL team to round it out? We know they have the fans to make it poppin’.
Salt Lake City, Utah – The Salt Lake Avalanche – Salt Lake City hosted an AAF team, the Stallions, and that proves there is interest in a professional team there. A longer-lasting team on a larger stage might be too enticing for Salt Lake City to pass up, and they have plenty of ammunition. The area is full of ski resorts and natural wonders, and there aren’t many teams a few states off the West Coast. Also snow games are awesome.
Omaha, Nebraska – The Omaha Pioneers – Omaha is a great pioneer city and is right in the heart of America. They’re forced to root for teams that are at least 150 miles away, so this would give them their own hometown team. The fans there love college football and it would be an easy sell to give them a pro team. Look for the future owner/GM to be Peyton Manning.
Bismarck, North Dakota – The Dakota Rough Riders – North Dakota is starting to get some love in the NFL now. In 2016, Carson Wentz was drafted out of the school, and Trey Lance is looking like he’s going to be a first rounder in the 2021 draft. The Rough Rider State has football fans, and so does South Dakota. While NDSU and SDSU are bitter rivals, this is a team for both states. This could be a great market for the NFL.
Boise, Idaho – The Treasure Valley Hunters – Another city which has a good college football team. Any city that has a college football following is going to be a good market for the NFL. The area is called the “Treasure Valley” and their team will be hunting for treasure: a championship.
San Antonio, Texas – The San Antonio Swarm – Just like with Portland, many professional sports teams reside in the city. An NFL team would round it out. We know that San Antonio has the fans, as San Antonio has had both AAF and XFL teams in the past couple years.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The Oklahoma City Bandits – Oklahoma City is another city in which the fans are forced to root for a team that is a ways away from them. They have a thirst for professional sports, as we can see from the OKC Thunder games. Let’s give them a NFL franchise too. The raccoon is one of Oklahoma’s state animals, thus we called them the Bandits.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa – The Iowa Goldfinch – Iowa is passionate about their Hawkeyes and they deserve a pro team. The area is perfect for an NFC North team, and so is their population’s personality. This is a city and state that almost fits too well with the NFL. Think ‘Buffalo Table Diving’ but with more corn.
San Diego, California – The San Diego Tide – The team formerly known as the San Diego Chargers’ fanbase was pissed when their team left for LA. We’re talking burned jerseys. San Diego deserves another shot at hosting a team. They’re ready for a current team to wash away the pain and have no lingering feelings for the Chargers.
Louisville, Kentucky – The Kentucky Fried Chicken – We ran out of team name ideas, so this is what you get. Besides the name, Louisville has a love for football and their college team. They could really get into an NFL team and make the NFC or AFC Central division fun.
There are so many players in the NFL, and so many come in every year. An expansion could bring football to new markets and make money, but beyond that it could give some overlooked or forgotten athletes a new chance. How many Tony Romos, or Adam Theleins, or Jason Peters’ are out there, but were never given a real chance to compete? Expanding the NFL could be a cash cow for the league, and could also uncover some hidden stars along the way.
If the NFL or any team wants the IP rights to any of the team names we have outlined above, please contact us through our website.