I haven’t written enough lately, and a friend on Facebook suggested we are about to get an NFL team here in OKC. So, while I listen to Gunger, a few lines:

I find myself less than optimistic. First, OKC has raised taxes on itself a lot lately. We are doing lots of good things around here, but some of it, not so much. I don’t think we’d vote a new tax for a new stadium. We’d need new roads and other infrastructure too. Can be done, but not soon. (I’ll call soon ten years plus or minus eight. 😉 )

Where to put this potential new stadium? Downtown seems out of the question, but who knows. I suppose it depends who takes the largest share of the cost. There are lots of reasonable sites around this sprawling metro of ours. I don’t suppose land will be an issue unless the decision comes down that it has to be squeezed in downtown. I expect there are some other good locations that would work out well if a thorough campaign ensued from beginning to get those affected involved and on board. A couple of possibilities near the capitol exist. These would have to be community projects, objections dealt with fairly. I find myself thinking again that this could not be done in five years. I suspect a stadium in three years is impossible. Four years seems workable if there is no fight over the location and infrastructure support is worked in properly. 

When I think of NFL cities, I think big. That is no longer the case. I thought it was, but a little research proved me wrong. (Always better to be corrected than wrong.)

For instance, Buffalo hasn’t been a top-ten largest city in about a hundred years. OKC is bigger now. Of course, look at a map. Buffalo is still a big deal in terms of potential fan-base. I suspect Toronto has a fair share of Bills loyalists. Much of New York state probably prefers the Bills.

Los Angeles is the counter example. It seems the NFL is determined to get somebody back in there. Rams? I doubt it. Raiders? Only if they can’t get a better deal somewhere else, and my bet is they will stay in Oakland for a few more years. Who else? The Lions? The Lions may want a move before long, but I wouldn’t count on it.

If we look at straight population statistics, San Antonio is the obvious missing city. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by_population I suspect Austin is on the NFL radar, and perhaps El Paso. Columbus? I doubt Ohio will get another NFL team. Memphis may be on a short list or two. Among most of these cities, I suppose OKC will be noticed too.

Look at this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_primary_statistical_areas_of_the_United_States

L.A. is still the standout. Three of the top five metros have more than one team.

Portland, Oregon, stands out on that list at 19. I suspect the NFL is working to get a team there. Orlando follows Portland, but I doubt Orlando is a realistic expansion city. Sacramento seems a long shot, but at 24, probably on the radar. Salt Lake seems a likely candidate.

Vegas? Probably not. Then San Antonio at 31.

Central Oklahoma comes in at 46. Tulsa sits at 54. I wonder if a football megacomplex near Welston might draw support from the majority of the state?

Still, it all seems a long shot as an enduring business prospect.

There is another factor that I think works against both OKC and San Antonio–Jerry Jones.

Jones sells tickets within a 300 mile radius, except near Houston, and sitting at number eight on the market list above, Dallas holds lots of clout in the NFL.

Ultimately it is about money, but some of the weight of money can be offset with other factors. For instance, taxes. Well, Oklahoma doesn’t much measure up against Texas in that regard. Oh well.

Both states are great places to live in many regards. Oklahoma is about as free and populist as any. People complain about our schools, but this is the best state in the Union for homeschooling. Take responsibility for your own children, and they have a superb education. We would also see our schools improve if we would just repeal all truancy laws.

Anyway, this is about NFL in OKC. I just don’t see it any time soon. We can hope.

Boon Pickens doesn’t have the resources to do it. He supports OSU, but NFL probably just isn’t his thing. I suspect that is about the same for all of Oklahoma’s wealthiest folks, so nobody is likely to try to start up an NFL franchise solo or in a small partnership, so it will take something similar to the company that established our Thunder. [Thunder UP!]

Any group trying to form to establish an NFL franchise in Oklahoma will have to take the Cowboys franchise into consideration. That applies to San Antonio as well.

It seems OKC is supporting our Thunder well. http://www.forbes.com/nba-valuations/

That gives San Antonio a slight edge, but I doubt it matters to a business case. Besides, NBA and NFL are separate worlds. Not much worth in predictions between them.

This list is enlightening: http://www.forbes.com/nfl-valuations/

Raiders are at the bottom of the list. Of course they are trying to increase buzz. A move may be more likely than I think. I will be shocked if they move though.

If anyone is likely to move in the next year or two, I put the Bills at the top of the list. Apparently Toronto is trying to make that happen.

There really seem to be no prospects for moves to OKC or San Antonio. Accordingly, expansion is where we must look.

Don’t click this link, http://nflrt.com/nfl-expansion-cities/, since it is one of those that makes you click through ten pages of ads to see the ten things in the list, but they put OKC at number ten and suggest we play at OU in Norman. I don’t think that is possible. They partially replicate my list above, but they add Honiruru, but I really don’t think Hawaii will support the NFL year round. (They included Mexico City too, and London. Go figure. Of course, there has been talk of NFL London for a long time now.)

There are articles out there about expansion. No one seems to take it real serious. Not sure why. NFL is big business. They can if they decide to.

There is only one way I see to get an NFL team to OKC in less than 10 years, and that is with a four-team expansion plan in the NFL. Doable, maybe even likely, but it is up to them, not us. Then, we’d still have to fight our way in and win it. We’d need some big-idea, big-money backers, and probably some tax money. I don’t like the tax money part, and I’ll very likely work against it and vote no if it comes to it.

Honestly, London, Toronto, and Mexico City probably will get a franchise before there is another NFL team within 300 miles of Jerry Jones’ juggernaut.

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