Expansion in pro sports is a given, and it is going to happen soon again, the question is how soon?
The National Football League has been flirting with potential expansion for sometime now. If they were to finally pull the trigger on it, the perfect location for that expansion team would be in St.Louis in my opinion. When the great people of St.Louis lost the Rams, for many it felt like a nail through their hearts. Their passion for the product is unmatched and it showed when the St.Louis Battlehawks of the XFL, led the league in weekly attendance and TV ratings as well. Giving a team back to St.Louis would be perfect for a market that would be extremely grateful for one.
There would be lots of questions on what to call the team, but my pick would be something along the lines of Explorers as a way to pay tribute to Louis and Clark. They could even find a happy medium for colors somewhere in between the MLB’s St.Louis Cardinals and the NHL’s St.Louis Blues. They would be a perfect fit in the NFC North or South. It would force the NFL to add another team as well, somewhere like Austin or San Antonio Texas. It would also give the National Football League an excuse for playoff expansion as well.
Unlike the other two major sports leagues in the United States, the National Football League would need to add a total of eight expansion franchises to balance out the divisions. To sum it up six other potential expansion franchises could be placed in Portland, Columbus, Iowa City, a second Chicago team, San Diego, and Salt Lake City. It would push the league to 40 total teams with a 16 team playoff thanks to eight new expansion franchises.
The first choice for NBA expansion is probably the most obvious one of them all. That is to bring basketball back to the great city of Seattle and a second franchise back to the Pacific Northwest. It was like a knife in the back when the SuperSonics packed up and left for Oklahoma City back in 2008. Especially when the Oklahoma City Thunder would become the home of three future hall of famers in Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook. Returning this once great franchise back home with an expansion franchise to their roots would be great for every fan of the National Basketball Association.
You could insert them directly back into the Northwest division and add another expansion team in the Eastern Conference like Pittsburgh or Baltimore, or maybe even Louisville. It would allow the National Basketball Association to switch its divisional format from six divisions of five teams to the NFL model of eight with four teams. Adding an expansion franchise in the Steel City would also give the Cleveland fans and the Cavaliers another natural rival as well, of course, you can say the same about Baltimore as well.
Major League Baseball is the most likely league to add some expansion franchises in the near future. They have been flirting with the idea of Nashville, Las Vegas, and Portland for some time now. For this I am going to go ahead and use Las Vegas as the league’s next expansion franchise destination. With the Raiders still barely new to their new home, it would make perfect sense to double down and give Las Vegas a baseball expansion franchise as well. It is also likely that they will be getting a Major League Soccer team as well sometime soon if reports are to be believed.
Vegas makes perfect sense for an expansion franchise for a multitude of reasons. It’s the gambling capital of the world, it’s a huge tourist destination and one of the most beautiful places to live as well. Whatever team or league heads to Vegas is sure to draw some solid crowds during their time there.
Much like the NBA, the MLB would have to realign the divisional formats, which may be a bit harder for baseball because divisions mean a lot more in the sport of baseball. The league could add a team out East to balance things out, and the perfect place that comes to mind is Nashville, especially after rumors that the Cleveland Guardians would be heading there, which never materialized.
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