As a sport football long ago stiff armed aside baseball to become 'America's Game,' and the NFL through aggressive leadership and massive TV paydays has done a great job of spanning the length and breadth of the USA . Yet, even with the sport having greater coverage than Rex Ryan's underpants, there are still calls out there from some within the game to grow the NFL further to increase TV revenue and boldly conquer new territory. Whilst some of these mooted areas represent distinct possibilities for the competition, others are about as likely as a Tim Tebow-Octomum television wedding. So, as the NFL brass are busy sorting out lawsuits right now. we'll take it upon ourselves to run a critical eye over the pretenders and the contenders of the'5 Possible NFL Expansion Areas'
5. Los Angeles[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="468"] While we're at it bring back the Flintstones too.[/caption] Ahh LA, the city you love to hate. Whilst on the domestic US sports scene there will be the occasional grumble about Portland or maybe even Las Vegas deserving a NFL teamAngeles, with it's population of almost 4 million, is the only one with a serious shot of being called up off the bench for a run in the big time by coach Goodell any time soon. So serious in fact that every time a city won't fork out the half billion or so to build their NFL team a new stadium, owners will start murmuring about 'making it big in Hollywood' and getting spray tans until their city councillors inevitably get the hint and cough up the cash. Only problem is LA has hosted a swag of football teams over the years (Raiders, Rams, Chargers) and all of them have decided to bail out. So whilst relocating a small market team to la la land might make NFL house very happy, seeing your hardened snow covered Minnesota or Buffalo fans dumped for a bunch of bandwagon celebrities and organic yogurt munchers might not be the best PR exercise for the game. Pros
- Advanced plans already in place with regards to infrastructure.
- 'Big Market' team.
- Wealth of hangers on in the area to choose from.
- Fair weather fan base.
- Another Californian side.
- Players having to put up with tour groups and Lindsay Lohan camped outside their houses all day.
4. Toronto[caption id="attachment_16377" align="aligncenter" width="468"] Canadians have long been wanting an NFL franchise. Who can blame them?[/caption] Don't bother searching for this one on your US map kids because this one is =shock= in Canada (which itself can be hard to find, all tucked away down there as it is). With most of the major US markets taken some parties have mooted that the NFL follow the lead of other American sporting bodies by looking across the falls to the home of Mounties and maple syrup for expansion. The Bills have tested the water with some games in the Big 'T', however the move has been unpopular with CFL officials North of the border with fears such a move would decrease the value of the big end zone game's brand. Which is understandable if not a tad hypocritical, seeing as the NFL had to deal with an onslaught of expansion CFL teams in the mid 90s- Memphis Mad Dogs anyone? Pros
- Has shown to be capable of hosting a team in other American sports competitions.
- Sold financial backing.
- Top notch health care system.
- Unlikely to co-exist with the Bills.
- Existing stadium is a little on the small side.
- Fans constantly yelling out for rouges and punts on the third down etc..
3. Mexico City[caption id="attachment_16378" align="aligncenter" width="468"] Azteca Stadium is a perfect venue for an NFL game.[/caption] Hey if America's awkward little cousin from up North can join in the fun why can't it's fiery Southern sister? Just thinking about an NFL team in the world's third largest city would have the Commissioner's eyes lighting up with Peso signs and doing the Mexican hat dance to a repetitive Mariachi band. Despite being better known on the world stage for the round ball and injury prone version of futbol the NFL is big news in Mexico. How big? Well a game between Houston and Dallas in 1994 attracted a crowd of 112, 376. Oh yeah, and it was a pre-season match. Now that's one hell of a yo soy fiesta! Pros
- Enormous potential fan base with a strong football history.
- Would bring an international flavour to the NFL.
- Potentially help to improve relations between the US and Mexico.
- Corporate dollar issues.
- Culture shock for drafted players.
- Visiting teams getting themselves into trouble Kenny Powers style.
2. London [caption id="attachment_16379" align="aligncenter" width="468"] Exactly what American Football needs: hooligans.[/caption] 'Allo allo allo, what's all this then? An NFL team in the UK? Are you 'avin a laugh? As far fetched as this idea may seem it has been getting a lot of air time recently, with Patriots owner Robert 'Cheesy' Kraft a big fan of a London based team entering the NFL. Despite sounding like an idea that the Gronkowski brothers came up with after an afternoon playing beer pong or Kraft not realising the distance between New England and the original England, the plan does have its backers in the football community. Whether the London locals could convert a one game a year party into ongoing sold out stadiums though would be the main issue, especially with the term football generally meaning something quite different to the lads in Dr Martins downing pints at the Hooligan Arms hotel. Pros
- New Wembley would make a suitable NFL stadium.
- Has achieved big crowds for NFL matches a number of times in the past.
- Might get a few new fans for the Patriots.
- Travel time for some existing teams would increase dramatically.
- Didn't exactly embrace the whole NFL Europe thing.
- Inevitable grumblings from locals about the U.S being late into WW2, players making jokes about spotted dick etc..