Waiting another 5+ years won’t do it. The National Football League is at a peak in popularity. It has teams in relocation mode, struggling cities and unaddressed markets.
Las Vegas is ready for a team. San Diego deserves to get one and is long overdue to have one that’s serious about its on-field product. London (drawing across Europe) and Mexico City can each support a full-time NFL team. In fact, a permanent team in each city may get more support than guest team appearances once per year.
A perfect storm of issues may be right around the corner:
- Regardless of how the league is able to address head injuries, we may be on the verge of dramatically fewer players coming up through high school and college.
- Dual sport athletes at the college level are more likely to opt away from football.
- The financial challenges for universities who have already gone overboard in raising student costs could drive a reduction in an expensive sport like football, further narrowing the available player pool and potentially reducing society’s interest in the sport due to reduced exposure.
- If the league continues its recent strategy of deciding which politically correct policies its teams’ cities/states must follow, more fans can become disenchanted.
With the long lead times required to get city/country commitments made and the process of contracting for use of existing stadiums (if not building new ones), the window is closing for successful, broad league expansion if the NFL doesn’t act soon.