Raleigh, North Carolina skyline
ATLANTA, GA-- Earlier this week, we delved into the possibility of the National Gridiron League (NGL) expanding the league from 12 teams to 14. There's been no indication from the league itself when possible expansion news is coming — in fact, the league has been quiet, that's no fun, so let's speculate, it's a hot topic of conversation.
No one expected the Las Vegas Golden Knights to have a winning season as the NHL's latest expansion team in 2017. But they made it to the Stanley Cup Final, proving that nascent teams in any sport aren't just doormats for the more established franchises. On the heels of the Golden Knights' success, let's review possible NGL expansion. Having 12 teams seems like the perfect amount, but if the league grows, these 12 cities should receive strong consideration on where to put down roots.
At the risk of putting the horse well before the cart, let's talk about which cities stand to be top candidates for expansion.
1. NASHVILLE, TN
Why Nashville? The former home of the Nashville Kats of the Arena Football League, the city, demonstrated strong support for spring football throughout the Kats tenure.
2. SAN ANTONIO, TX
Why San Antonio? The Alliance of American Football came and went, but the success of the San Antonio Commanders can not be ignored.
3. LOUISVILLE, KY
Why Louisville? The thriving border city has to be in the scope of every American sports league considering expansion.
4. RALEIGH, NC
Why Raleigh? The Carolina's second-most populous metro area is home to only one major sports team in the Carolina Hurricanes.
5. OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
Why OKC? The Oklahoma City area is home to over 1.4 million residents. It's a pretty safe assessment to make that many of them would enjoy seeing former Sooners and Cowboys continue their playing careers in the area.
6. BIRMINGHAM, AL
Why Birmingham? Football is king in Alabama. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
7. ROCHESTER, NY
Why Rochester? New York's third-most populous area. Rochester is a northern gem that displays a strong support for its pro sports teams.
8. CLEARWATER/ ST. PETERSBURG, FL
Why Clearwater/ St. Petersburg? Tampa gets all of the attention, but Clearwater and St. Petersburg make significant contributions in making the Tampa Bay area special.
9. GREENVILLE, SC
Why Greenville? The South Carolina secret Greenville's metropolitan area is home to over 900,000 residents, without a major sports team within a 100 miles.
10. WASHINGTON D.C.
Why D.C.? Similar to the Alliance of American Football, the XFL came and went, but the D.C. Defenders' success can not be ignored.
11. HARRISBURG, PA
Why Harrisburg? The Pennsylvania capital city is the centerpiece of a thriving metropolitan area that has a bright future.
12. SAVANNAH, GA
Why Savannah? A tourist hotbed, Savannah is Georgia's largest coastal city and far enough away from Atlanta to have its own culture.
For the latest news and information, continue to visit nationalgridiron.com.