Adding 8 more teams/cities to the NFL would amount to a total of 40 teams, up from the current 32. The eight divisions would have 5 teams each instead of 4.
The question is, who should new franchises be awarded to?
Many analysts would scoff at the idea of bringing in so many more teams.
They would say that the abundance of teams will have a negative effect on the bottom line because the league would be spreading itself too thin.
It depends on perception. There could be less percentage of profits available for the 32 teams, but it also depends on how success is measured.
Jacksonville has fulfilled its obligations at every level, but the league demands more. They want more gate money and a flawless reputation.
If the NFL lowered standards to a degree where exceptional profits one year and average profits another is not the end of the world, then more teams could participate.
Greed plays a huge role in any expansion talks.
The league should adapt to be more reasonable and accepting of when an organization runs smoothly, but profits are not through the roof, yet not so bad either. Ultimately, more teams spread out through the country provides opportunity for more marketing and the potential for bigger profits in both the short-term and long-term.
The other argument against such progressive expansion is the dilution of talent. This is another fallacy. The college game provides plenty. The sport is at its height for participation in the U.S. at all levels.
With more teams, there may not be as many great one-handed catches per game, but the variety of teams should bring a freshness to playcalling and improved strategies for winning over more fans to the game.
The most likely choices for new franchises would be in Los Angeles, Portland, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Orlando, Omaha, Sacramento and Salt Lake City. Each of these cities are chosen for different reasons, some obvious, others not so obvious.
Los Angeles, San Antonio and Las Vegas seem obvious. Big metropolitan areas with the right organization shouldn’t have big problems bringing it all together. San Antonio has the Alamodome, LA is already preparing for a team, and Vegas (without any pro team) is always in the conversation.
Portland, Orlando, Salt Lake City, and Sacramento all support NBA teams without MLB and are big cities with enough infrastructure to rally their cities for a team. Omaha is growing, progressive, and a good geographical fit.
Now, the fun part: the nicknames.
*Author is Managing Editor of www.AmericanizeSoccer.com