This idea was hockey based as there are cities I consistently wish were in the league, but I thought it would be fun to do it in each pro league as well. I’m certainly not advocating expansion nor do I want teams to leave their current homes, because I know how demoralizing and awful that can be. Simply put, below is a list of cities I think are most deserving of a pro franchise in each of the five professional sports leagues:
- Norfolk: Growing and large market when you count the whole Tidewater vicinity (Virginia Beach, Hampton, etc.). Rather poor crowd when I went to a Tides game, but if this market were to get their first pro franchise, I would think baseball is the best fit.
- Oklahoma City: Poor attendance for the Redhawks lately, but OKC seems like a great sports town, especially with their support of the Thunder. A team here would be a cheaper ticket and an option for the opposite season. Given the summer heat in Oklahoma, this would have to be a ballpark with a roof, which sucks. Then again, maybe not…Texas had no problems this year
- Louisville: They always support the Sluggers really well and would make a good natural rivalry with Cincinnati.
- Raleigh: North Carolina is a decent soccer market and they could play really anywhere within the Raleigh-Durham market. They’ve already got a nice, small facility in Cary that maybe could be renovated for MLS. Also, would be a good pair if the league goes to Atlanta.
- San Antonio: This would be a great place as it would fill the summer sports void with the Spurs being the only pro team. Only other competition is Double-A baseball and high school football in the Fall (they would just have to avoid Friday Night home games for a few months
- Miami: I know the Latin influence didn’t help the Marlins and there’s doubt that the huge foreign influence in the city would support an American “soccer” franchise. But I have hope and it would be awesome to see another place feature an atmosphere to rival that of Portland and Seattle
(Other considerations: St. Louis, Tampa, San Diego, Rochester (one can dream right?), Anybody but a second New York team)
- Las Vegas: Of the five sports, the NBA would fit perfectly in Vegas. I don’t think they would have any problem combining or overcoming UNLV’s strong presence. Fastest growing market in the country and I’m sure fans and players would love this addition.
- Seattle: As well as Oklahoma City has done, it was a travesty Seattle lost the SuperSonics. Nobody has to explain the economics of the sport to me, but I can’t believe that an arena upgraded in 1994-1995 is so outdated that the team is forced to leave. This business can make you sick sometimes. Unfortunately, the same song seems to be playing in Sacramento
- Kansas City: Though it might be the most logical choice with the pro-style Sprint Center just waiting for a tenant, I wonder how the team would do in an area that is very loyal to college basketball.
- Los Angeles: Kind of weird that the most popular sport in the country does not have a team in its second largest city. Can you believe it has been 16 years since the Raiders moved to Oakland and the Rams to St. Louis? USC has been the hip thing here lately, but I’m sure they would have no problem coming back to the pros
I can’t really think of any more cities that would be great additions. The only one that comes to mind is San Antonio, but the AlamoDome is too small and that area is so embedded in Cowboys country, I think it would be difficult to turn fans
- Hartford: Whenever I am in Connecticut, there is always at least one person with Whalers apparel on. The loss of this team still hurts and the region has not gotten over it. The Jets very thankfully came back, why can’t we see the green and blue again with Brass Bonanza cranking in the background.
- Quebec City: They are working on an arena plan to try and lure a team back to the area. Yes, its really far out of the way for teams, but this is where hockey’s passion lies: Canada and the Northern US. Besides, watch a Habs-Nordiques game and you can’t tell me that its not exciting
- Seattle: If they can’t get the SuperSonics back (preferred choice #1), then hockey would fit right in and fill that winter void. The junior Thunderbirds are quite popular and the city could have a nice natural rivalry with Vancouver.