Staff Blog: Possible NFL Expansion Cities

Since defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2007-2008 playoffs the Jacksonville Jaguars have arguably looked like a completely different team.

Throughout the 2008-2009 season, and in the months that followed, the Jaguars began to release several players who once made up the face of the franchise including: Fred Taylor, Paul Spicer, Reggie Williams, Mike Peterson, and Matt Jones. In the past few seasons inconsistancy on the field coupled with problems within the organization has led to off-and-on rumors of a possible relocation of the team to another city. Although the Jaguars and owner Wayne Weaver have made it clear that they will not be leaving Jacksonville any time soon, the Spinnaker decided to take a look at some cities currently without NFL franchises and how they may fair at supporting a team; as well as some possible mascots for each city.

Los Angeles– (Wave, Crush, Stars)

The city of Los Angeles is currently the biggest city in the U.S. without an NFL team; although the city has previously housed the Rams for several years. During the period of speculation with the Jaguars Los Angeles remained the constant forerunner in the discussion of where the Jags would land if they were to move. My pick for the L.A. mascot would be the Stars because what better way is there to describe L.A.?

Toronto- (Freeze, Mist, Predators)

Toronto seems to be the only Canadian city that can maintain programs in America’s major sports; well, except for hockey. Toronto is able to support an NFL team with fans, but people tend to speculate whether any city outside of the United States will ever really understand American football. Toronto’s mascot should probably be the Freeze considering a majority of American football fans would freeze if they had to visit Toronto for a game (accept maybe Green Bay fans).

Las Vegas– (Dice, Risk, Scorpions)

What city in the United States could possibly make more money off of NFL games? Las Vegas would surely be poised to bring in multitudes of fans to games as another of the million things tourists can do to waist their money in Sin City. However, inevitably investors, as well as the government, have realized that the other pleasures of the city would probably work their way into the franchise. However, if there was a team in Vegas I think they would be most suited going with the title of the Las Vegas Dice. They would be sure to repeat the success of the short-lived Nevada Hot Dice of TNT’s spectacular athletic extravaganza; RollerJam.

Orlando- (Trap, Destiny, Experience)

Orlando is another city whose tourist market could benefit immensely from another major attraction. The big problem for Orlando is that even though they only have one professional level team, they are surrounded by dozens throughout the rest of the state. Considering how much the Jaguars, Buccaneers and Dolphins have been struggling lately, it probably wouldn’t be the best idea for the state of Florida to add a fourth team to the equation. As for what mascot would best suit an Orlando franchise: any of the three I suggested. Because regardless of the name the city of Orlando will market the team with a phrase such as: “It’s your DESTINY to enjoy the EXPERIENCE of being dragged into yet another of Orlando’s tourist TRAPS.”

Sacramento- (Spartans, Dictators, Gods)

Out of all the markets in the United States Sacramento is the city that has been fighting hardest to house an NFL franchise for years. The city has been trying the steal the rights to the Niner’s and the Raiders since the dawn of eternity. However, it is fairly unlikely that Sacramento will host an NFL franchise anytime soon; especially before L.A. does. If the city does somehow land California’s fourth NFL franchise its mascot is sure to have some noble status if it is going to fall in line with the Kings, Monarchs and Solons. So, I am petitioning that the franchise be enshrined as the Sacramento Rulers of the Universe.

Salt Lake City- (Mirage, Trick, Rattlers)

Salt Lake City has proven they can support a professional program by housing the NBA’s prominent Utah Jazz. However, it is extremely hard for me to believe anything that is linked with this area of the country. Just think. Utah Jazz? I’m sorry, but Jazz is not the first thing I think of when I think of Utah. And if I was lost in the middle of the deserts in and surrounding Utah I would certainly be disappointed to find out that the biggest land based body of water in the United States is most likely undrinkable. For those reasons I would name any Utah franchise the Mirage; for misleading outsiders with the hope of something much different.

Portland- (Mystery, Skyhawks, Trees)

Although the state is home to a few prominent programs in the sporting world, it is hard for me to think what else is in Oregon. Being on the western seaboard the state has earned its right to claim that they have tough fans due to weather circumstances. But, I think I would be worried that they’re may not be enough of them to go around; especially with the gritty fans of Seattle not to far away. If there were to be a franchise in Oregon I would probably name them the Mystery; due to fact that I don’t know how they could possibly support a program, and that I have no clue of any realistic choices for mascot names involving Oregon heritage. However, maybe they would be better suited with the Portland Trees to go along with the Trail-Blazers and the Oregon State Beavers.

San Antonio- (Outlaws, Beat, River)

San Antonio is my top choice market to host an NFL expansion franchise. San Antonio may not necessarily show it with their support for the over-successful Spurs, but the city knows how to support teams. The AlamoDome and the city proved themselves worthy of NFL status after an impressive run with the Saints in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. And there is no doubt Texas is the perfect place for football. The state is arguably home to the best high school football in the nation and several collegiate teams full of rich winning traditions. If Florida and California can house three teams there should be no reason why Texas can ‘t. As for the franchises mascot, the city would be best suited with something that symbolizes its active spirit. Rather than playing off the stereotypical image of the Alamo, the program should be named the San Antonio River; in honor of the San Antonio River which helps shape the city’s landscape and culture.

32 Comments

  1. Really? Who does your fact finding? Or, perhaps this is just a list of cities you hope to visit some day.
    Let me show you how to back statements up with actual facts:

    First, the jaguars aren’t going anywhere, as the owner Wayne Weaver said has said many times himself:
    http://www.firstcoastnews.com/sports/jags/news-article.aspx?storyid=113420&catid=28

    Second, the Buffalo bills already play a few games in toronto, so if toronto was to get any team, it would be the bills:
    http://www.buffalobills.com/tickets/bills-in-toronto.html

    And finally, the attendance for the jaguars doesn’t merit them leaving jacksonville:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/attendance

    So please, don’t spread silly rumors.

  2. John

    Public Relations really isn’t your thing.

    The San Antonio River?

    Las Vegas DIce?

    I see the fear being struck. Teams will tremble walking into those stadiums.

    First off Los Angeles wont have a team until they get their stadium issues resolved and they realize there isn;t anything to do in the city of angels.

    San Antonio is in Jerry Jones territory and he probably doesnt want any competition for the cowboys in the state that supposedly houses America’s Team.

    and I can pick up reasons for every one of your cities…

  3. I’m glad yall realized how serious I was being when I compiled this list. I understand that all these cities have flaws in their arguments, but that’s why they don’t already have teams. And yes Matt, I know that I wouldn’t be good at Public Relations. However, I don’t think a majority of current NFL teams have intimidating mascots to begin with.

    Ex:
    Arizona Cardinals
    Houston Texans
    Baltimore Ravens
    Green Bay Packers
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    Cleveland Browns
    New Orleans Saints
    New York Jets
    New England Patriots

  4. Love the blog post, but some of these teams names are pretty bad:
    the Portland Trees, the Orlando Trap, Toronto Mist? Still, I agree with many of your points re: these cities as expansion teams. Here’s my take: Buffalo Bills move to Toronto in the next 8 years, LA is an obvious expansion team or a possible NFL relocation. I think the NFL will stay away from Las Vegas in the short term, because it doesn’t want to get mixed up in the gambling scene, Portland – I don’t think would be a lock so the NFL would likely stay away for now. San Antonio may be a surprising front runner for a few reasons, for one the city is huge, Texans also love football, but also, there is a massive Mexican population element there and the NFL is very interested in Mexico. Orlando is growing, but a team here would likely pull fans away from Tampa Bay, and Floridians haven’t exactly flocked to support their pro teams. Sacramento is interesting, but a more likely locale would be San Jose which has higher income families. Salt Lake City would make an excellent expansion franchise. It’s growing and there are great NFL fans there.

  5. This is an interesting topic. I like SA and LA as expansion picks. But I’m not sure LA would support a losin team. Vegas may be a better choice. When do you think it would happen? 20011? 2012?

  6. I found this while searching NHL expansion history. I have to say that this is high school reporting at best. First off, you did absolutely no research into the expansion process. All you gave was a list of cities you think might have fun NFL team nicknames. The nickname, by the way, being the least important factor.

    Los Angeles was the home of not just one, but two NFL teams (the Raiders split time in LA and Oakland), plus a USFL team. The city has no modern football arena The LA Galaxy play at the Home Depot Center, which holds 27,000 a light crowd for an NFL game.

    Toronto already has a CFL team (the Argonauts). But I doubt that a city as hockey-crazy as Toronto has what it takes to support a CFL team and an NFL team. Plus, Buffalo is right across the border (which means that NFL fans and teams are accustomed to the freezing cold conditions. But Toronto is a dome stadium city, so climate is a moot point anyway. And other Canadian cities do support American league teams. The Capitales du Quebec lead the Can-Am Baseball League in attendance, several Northern and Golden League teams are based (and flurish) in Canada.

    What really bugs me is that you use a football article to be the one millionth person to realize that the Utah Jazz are inappropriately named. The Jazz were formerly the New Orleans Jazz and moved to Utah in 1979. They kept the name. Ever notice how there are no lakes in LA, but the team’s still called the Lakers? Google it.

    San Antonio, if you had done your research, was host to a Canadian Football League team in the mid-90’s that actually had a pretty solid following for their one year in a foreign football league. But with the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans there can only be so many teams in Texas. You should look north to football meccas like Lincoln Nebraska (let me guess, you’d call them the “Logs”), or Tulsa, Oklahoma. Both support minor league level professional teams, and their college football teams draw huge numbers.

    Las Vegas is a dead issue. Until the league can accept that people gamble on the game, they’ll never go near Las Vegas. Plus, in a town *that* reliant on tourist support, a major league team will never find enough support. Look at Atlantic City. AC is a good case study. Its a huge tourist town reliant on the casinos. Atlantic City can’t support minor league baseball (the AC Surf most recently folded), and couldn’t put more than 500 people in the stands for minor league hockey (though I think you many have named their ECHL team, the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies).

    So please, before you write another article that people actually read…do some research. And to your editor: you have a red pen for a reason, Skippy. Use it.

  7. seriously?

    Las Vegas could never have a professional team. Period. It has never happened and it will probably never happen.

    You’re right in saying that the LA area will have a team in the near future, but it won’t be the Jags. The St. Louis Rams will move out there (thus making them a non-expansion franchise), and they will retain their name. Not the “Stars”.

    A team moving to another city does not make them an expansion. A newly formed team being organized as a new franchise by the NFL would be considered an expansion team. It’s a common occurance in baseball ie)Arizona Diamondbacks.

    These names for teams sound like bad Arena League names. I thought the Sacramento Gods was the best knee slapper. Please post that this was a joke.

    At the very very least, look at a Wikipedia page or two before you post stuff for everyone in the world to see.

  8. In 2005, Paul Tagliabue (then-Commissioner of the NFL) said that all 32 teams would be moving to LA by 2010. I’d like to see that. (Note my sarcasm.) As far as the comment above, though, about “A team moving to another city does not make them an expansion”, when the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens, they were considered an expansion team, purely because Tagliabue had stated that Cleveland would keep the Browns name and the team’s history, and the team would be re-established in 1999, as they were. In most cases, though, you’re right.

  9. Both the Jaguars and Bills owners will be dead soon and neither team has a nice stadium.

    And the Jaguars do have a record of bad attendance along with the Lions. The Jags just got the NFL to lower the seating limit on the stadium so that it could be declared a sellout by removing countable seats! LOL
    It is true the current Jags owner will never move the team, but he’ll be gone soon just like the Bills owner and it will be up to the families/estates, lawyers, etc. to determine the fate of both teams.

    I personally think both teams will ultimately move, the Jags to Orlando or LA and the Bills to Toronto or LA.
    Orlando by the way is considering a huge renovation or complete rebuilding of the Citrus Bowl, and that might be attractive to an NFL team considering a move. A move to Orlando would put the Jags in a MUCH LARGER TV market without even having to move far at all. Hell they wouldn’t even have to move their training camp or anything!

    And the wildcard team here is the New Orleans Saints. I know they just re-signed a lease and all and attendance has come back, but that owner has had eyes on LA for a LONG TIME. The only thing that stopped him from pulling the trigger after Katrina was public outcry, the NFL owners, and the fact that LA has never been able to get their stadium act together. When the 2010 Census comes out and New Orleans possibly becomes the smallest NFL city and/or attendance declines, he’ll look for ways to break that lease since the Saints also play in an old stadium. Of course, only if LA comes up with a stadium plan, which who knows if that will happen.

    The last thing Paul Tagliabue said about NFL expansion before retiring was that he hoped for ultimately there to be an NFC and AFC team in LA, but that was sorta pie in the sky thinking. Of course Tagliabue also once said he envisioned only one NFL team in Ohio ultimately and that Baltimore should possibly consider building a museum instead of a stadium for the NFL! LOL

    Who the hell knows what Roger’s thinking? He’s too busy with all the NFL criminals right now. LOL

  10. All of those mascot names are lame. Honestly, the Jaguars make the most sense, but more importantly, leaving the name, logo, uniforms and divisions in place makes even more sense, as there is no need to disrupt the AFC West rivalries. The Los Angeles Jaguars alright to me. Portlant and Sacramento would not have large enough markets. Either city would be competing with the 49ers and Seahawks. Los Angeles makes the most sense, so long as the city can build a new stadium.

  11. is alright* and Portland*

    I wanted to add the Bills, being an original AFL team, must stay in Buffalo. I highly doubt that will occur. I had heard rumors about the Chargers, Raiders and Rams being potential suitors to LA…

  12. Serious FootBall Fan

    Los Angeles has the gayest expansion names of any teams I can imagine… Crush? Waves? Star? how fruity… why don’t they cut to the quick and call themselves the LA Granola? or Transgender? Green?…or the Vegans? or geez… how ’bout the LA Wheatgrass? or the Baristas? Thesbians or Ego? or if you needs a social justice name how about the Pagans, the LA Illegals or the [Rodney] Kings, or the LA Beatdown or LAPD [for sentimental reasons]?

    GET FOOTBALL CLUB NAMES PEOPLE CAN GET BEHIND… not lifestyles!!!

    Try names like:

    The LA Quakes [this s@#t happens]
    The Los Angeles Cougars
    The LA Mantas
    The Los Angeles [LA] Sting

    …anything but those creepy, wuss ass names they are considering… eww.

  13. LA – LA housed the Raiders, too? Not just the Rams. That’s why there’s a huge raider nation following down there.

    Orlando – It is more likely for a franchise to relocate to Orlando than to locate another new franchise in Florida. 4 teams? Really? At some point, you’ll have difficulty keeping fans beyond a very small local market – keep in mind this is a business. Do you really want to supersaturate when your construction costs are so high?

    Portland – Cmon, Portland fans have earned their right due to their harsh coastal weather? Is that some weird kind of sarcasm possibly? Do you know they don’t have bad weather out there? Maybe you need to get out of Florida. And what about Seattle being nearby? You know that’s like saying Atlanta is right by Miami, right? And the Trees? Srsly?

    Salt Lake City – First of all, the Great Salt Lake is not nearly as “Great” as any one of the Great Lakes – so no, it’s not the “biggest land-based” lake in the country. I get that you were trying to be funny, but still… Show some respect for Geography, man. This is what you’re writing about, anyway!

    San Antonio – Yeah, they could probably house a real team. I would prefer that we don’t stack so many teams so closely together, though.

  14. Yeah..Las vega’s.. Call them the Bordellos or the Legal Prostitutes.. With some of the players in the NFL the Pimps might not be to far fetched. LOL

  15. patriot fan

    SA should not live with out a team. Beacause we are tired of cowboy & texans shit

  16. patriot fan,

    mram50 is shit

  17. patriot fan,

    San Antonio is my top choice market to host an NFL expansion franchise. San Antonio may not necessarily show it with their support for the over-successful Spurs, but the city knows how to support teams. The AlamoDome and the city proved themselves worthy of NFL status after an impressive run with the Saints in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. And there is no doubt Texas is the perfect place for football. The state is arguably home to the best high school football in the nation and several collegiate teams full of rich winning traditions. If Florida and California can house three teams there should be no reason why Texas can ‘t. As for the franchises mascot, the city would be best suited with something that symbolizes its active spirit. Rather than playing off the stereotypical image of the Alamo, the program should be named the San Antonio River; in honor of the San Antonio River which helps shape the city’s landscape and culture.

  18. cole that is impossible 32 in cityu stuipid

  19. I think you would have to go with Los Angeles and maybe Las Vegas. Toronto would be interesting though. Jacksonville has to move though, they are really not supporting their team like an NFL franchise should be.

  20. goshwhatisit?

    Birmingham has been trying to get a team together forever and I think they would make a good city to pull the “good folks of alabama,” too. Hell you can drop a rock from a plane inthe south and where it hit you can build a team and it’ll get the support. The problem with expansion is making sure there is enough talent to go around the nfl, which also has a very high injury rate. If we get anymore terrible defensive backs we going to get QB’s throwing 50 td’s ever season and 100,000 yrds for career eventually. Watch out for what you wish for…

  21. I would really love an nfl team in utah. We really deserve one. Please support utah in bringing the nfl to utah. But please not the trick or mirage…

  22. Your Portland section is funny… Portland is the 24th largest metropolitian area (ahead of many current NFL cities including Pittsburg, Green Bay, Cincinatti, Buffalo etc..) in the country. It really doesn’t make sense to just look at city populations… the Portland Metro area which has experienced almost constant growth for around 20 years or so has about 2 million inhabitants which is over twice the size of Jacksonville Florida (about 900,000) for example. Portland is 23rd in neilson rating (Kansas City by comparison is like 32nd). It is the largest metropolitian area with the least pro sports (San Diego is the only larger metro are that doesn’t have 3 teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL Portland has 1) . Nike and Adidas have headquarters there. I laugh when people who are apparently not from the region site the existence of the Seahawks and Mariners as detrimental to succes of Portland franachises… Many fans of those teams would travel to Portland to cheer their teams on and vice versa.. There is a history of rivalry between the two cities in basketball, soccer and minor league sports. The Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders have a strong rivaly going back decades and we lost the Trailblazers/Sonics rivalry. The regional rivalry would benefit not be detrimental to the Seahawks and most of their fans would probably strongly support a new team south of the Columbia. Portland is ready for Major League Baseball or an NFL team and personally I would prefer the latter (though in reality the city could support both). Team name? I dunno… some guy at fox sports came up with “Portland Brewers” because we have more breweries than any U.S. city but that name’s already taken…. The region does have a history of sports team names that are representative of said region see: Trailblazers, Timbers, Ducks Beavers etc…

  23. The Ram’s and Raider’s relocating back to Los Angeles is a possibility. St.Louis has never been a good football town whether it was the lousy Cardinal’s(who eventually found a home in Arizona) or the Greatest Show on Turf. The situation in Oakland is obvious, they would have to get a new stadium in the Bay Area and it probably is’nt going to happen. The 49’ers are set with their plan’s for Santa Clara but the Raider’s are’nt involved in a shared stadium scenario as recently done with the Jet’s and Giant’s. A new Los Angeles stadium can be built and house the Ram’s and the Raider’s based on the model we have recently seen in the Meadowland’s of New Jersey. Dual ownership and a unique and creative design to distinguish a home atmosphere for both team’s is working in New York and can in work L.A. as well. The only problem that can be foreseen is whether or not Al Davis will be on board, he is not exactly a team player and the N.F.L. and his future partner’s would be sceptical about his involvement, he has proven in the past not to be a trustworthy individual. But in the end he may have no choice. The league would love to have club’s in both conferences in the second largest media market back for a second go around.

  24. I think orlando would be a great city for an expansion team, being from orlando i know how much people talk about wanting a pro football team. all we have i a lousy arena team thats failing and a UFL team that could possibly be gaining attendance, but as of right now the NFL needs to expand the league and create 8 more teams if they want to improve audience rating and ticket sales. orlando is also a tourist hub and during the football season is a time when a lot of tourist come to watch games so why not have a team ready to play for the locales and let the tourists go to the parks. orlando is also the richest city in the state of florida and one of the richest cities in the whole united states so its no suprise that they the owners will be able to support the team. good article though dont listen to those losers who put you down, theyre just jealous that they didnt write an article of their own.

  25. A college newspaper should have an editor that knows the difference between ‘fair’ and ‘fare’.

    Seeing such obvious misuse of the English language causes me to lose respect for the whole publication.

  26. My picks are Oklahoma…Oklahoma outlaws
    Omaha,Nebraska…….Omaha or Nebraska coyotes
    Move the Jaguars from Jacksonville to Birmingham or saltlake City

  27. future expansion teams Columbus,Ohio call them the cougars
    San Antonio,texas.. San Antonio call them the Mustangs

  28. How about the Salt Lake Stoics? The fans would be really, really quiet during the games.

  29. Iowa – Des Moines Dragons
    Oklahoma – Oklahoma City Outlaws
    Oregon – Portland Cascades
    Texas – San Antonio Mustangs

  30. Jeremy, you are forgetting San Antonio. You mention that San Diego has only one pro sports team, well so does SA and its not even a football team. SA is just as big as San Diego.

  31. However I do think if there were more expansion teams in a few years, the cities to get them would most likely be LA(if an NFL team hasnt relocated there yet, San Antonio definately, and Salt Lake seems like a good place and hey, what about good ol OKC (Oklahoma City). Look at the support there fans have for the NBA Thunder. OKC could also support a football team.

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