Houston and hockey.
St. Louis and basketball.
Portland and football.
Charlotte and baseball.
Phoenix and soccer.
Okay, bring some thoughts of ambiance and business back. Hockey in Houston is a melt. And there's probably enough sports market saturation to go around with much of what I'm saying. The business market reflects it.
Look at some populations.
Then look at some television markets.
Television money makes more than ticket money a dozen years after this century/millennium began.
A wonderful shrinking world of screens and roadways, certainly in the good ol' infrastructure confines of the U.S. of A. Thank the heavens above.
Take a few sports-absent cities in the north, south, east and west. Envision their combined power as maybe an East Coast or West Coast brand.
Nashville + Charlotte = how many people? Around 4 million. A southland brand with a few appearances or exhibitions throughout old dixie can be quite a number of places.
LV + Portland equals 4.4 million folks. That matches the top dozen metros in America. Add Sacramento and you get well over 6.5 million for a west coast brand which would equal out to a top 5 population of any one place in America.
And don't forget the gaps. -The strectches between Vegas and Oregon.
And the embrace. And the name affection. If you live in Hawaii, or the Redwoods or Anchorage, aren't you kind of West Coast? Boise is west coast'ish. Could San Diego be thrown in for a west brand of NBA? You bet.
With none of the Big Five sports leagues doing something like this, how much money is being left on the table for moneymakers like television and apparel?
I find a tag-travel-team in a defined or branded region to be a great way to test the markets. And not having people feeling left out. OKC was discovered by housing the Hornets of New Orleans. Not far away from that in Nebraska and Missouri, the NBA's Kansas City-Omaha Kings used to share venues. What do I mean by a "branded" justification? While it might be a stretch, a team like the Las Vegas-Montreal International Expos baseball team could fit in any averaged out (central) or east to west division alignment. If there is any hesitancy about entering Mexican waters, why not grow an already big television market like Tampa Bay baseball into a massive following by the part-time Tampa Bay-Monterrey Rays?
Think of all of the combinations.
Below are a few thoughts stuck in my head.
MLB. The Oakland A's should part-time in Las Vegas as the West Coast A's. Or leave for Portland and Vegas. The Athletics are just miles away and cast under the shadow of Giants.
Do some addition by co-location with the Rays. Maybe Mexico or Charlotte. If they were the Coastal Run Rays of the South with the likes of New Orleans, Monterrey or Carolina, it'd be more exciting for the seats than as it stands. And compete with the Braves. Or move the Rays and split time between west and east coast Florida as the Florida Marlins. Or southland with Nashville.
Think of a Southland Blues brand.
This is expansion without growing to 32 teams.
NFL. Okay, without creating new teams, I wish the Jaguars would be more of a southern shared team with the likes of Little Rock and Louisville or Birmingham. It's a weekly show so maybe my model isn't best for football. But I'm excited about my location considerations. Any arguments for Austin and San Antonio which have close Texas proximity to each other could easily do something like a compromise (in-between) of San Marcos. Think MLS. Austin deserves something! Why not Texas United. Or "Divided" with a Dynamos and D-town FC presence? Wouldn't the NFL presence a drive away from Tuscaloosa be exciting for a southern or Alabama brand of football. Imagine,....they did Saturday, so let them drive to the ghost town Green Bay of Alabama the next day. The affections could mutually co-exist. There could be a major boost for some small town.
Couldn't Portland share the West Coast Raiders with Oaktown or Sin City?
NBA. I wish, instead of Los Angeles hogging teams, the Clippers would've become the West Coast Clippers of San Diego and Seattle or Las Vegas or some kind of combination of LA and anywhere else. But like every other league, the NBA is leaving apparel and brand money on the table. And a chance for places like San Jose and Boise to feel the powerbrand like Yankees nation. The West Coast brand has opportunity in every league and I talk about it throughout the blog.
NHL. West Coast and North Coast.
West Coast Coyotes adding Las Vegas, Portland and Seattle of some sort. Also think about exhibition in Alaska. North Coast, north shore or Great Lakes in Cleveland, Milwaukee and the likes of Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Rochester, Syracuse or Toledo. Exposure and more folks tuned in with a feeling of their skin in the game. Money. Television money. Hockey Nations. East Coast Whalers of Hartford and Norfolk? It's in my blog.
MLS. Grow it through the road show. Appalachian Bootleggers apparel through the power of Nashville and Charlotte? That sounds exciting.
See much more expansion, co-location and relocation talk for football, baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer on my blog http://prosportsexpansion.blogspot.com
Find ("CTRL C - CTRL V") the likes of Tennessee, Nashville, Charlotte, Portland, West Coast, East Coast, Hartford, Norfolk, Monterrey, Mexico, Vancouver, Ontario, Montreal, Austin, Tucson and Salt Lake City.