If the NHL comes back, there has to be a big expansion.
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12-31-2012, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Population keeps growing. As population grows you can add more teams. We're gonna add 100-150M new people to North America by 2050.
Of course, much of that population is going to already big metro with existing teams. And that doesn't necessarily mean more teams. NYC metro had more baseball teams in the 1950s with half the population it does today (Yankees, Giants and Dodgers). Today with nearly 10M more people they have only 2 teams -- Yankees and Mets. But they have more teams overall as other sports have started teams in NYC metro.
The biggest opportunity in the future for new franchises, in any league, is when a mid-sized city finally grows large enough to support a pro sports franchise. Historically the South has had fewer pro sports teams because, outside of Atlanta, the South had few large cities and many mid-sized cities.
In the last 20 years the boom in the South and Southwest has grown many cities large enough to support a pro team. Charlotte, Nashville, Raleigh, Jacksonville, Orlando, Oklahoma City, Memphis.
In the next 10-20 years more mid-sized cities will become economically viable. Places like Louisville, Virginia Beach, Birmingham, Richmond, Austin, Tulsa.
I think we'll see relocation of some franchises from stagnant or declining rust-belt cities to these faster growing cities. But also some expansion.
Presumably there's some upper limit for how many teams a North American wide league can have. Not sure what it is. NFL shows us 32 works. I think 36 isn't too high.
I'm not talking about NHL, but pro sports in general. And many of the cities might that now have only 1 team in 1 sport will grow enough to get a 2nd team in another sport.
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