The top 10 cities that deserve a new pro sports team
The dream of an NBA basketball team in Seattle took a heavy hit on Tuesday.
The blow was struck by the Seattle City Council, which voted against the sale of a street that would pave the way for a new professional-caliber sporting arena to be built in the city.
Fans of the defunct SuperSonics were hit the hardest by the decision, including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who took to Twitter to call for a petition to be started to get the project back online.
Now, not all cities can have multiple professional sports teams, because many cities are small, and many more cities are garbage and would not appreciate the gift they've been given. But there are a few, like Seattle, that are missing out on franchises they clearly deserve.
The following are some cities that need a new sports team in their life. Let's start with the aforementioned and most obvious:
1. Seattle, Washington: NBA
Why do you have to be how you are, Seattle? What is going on here?
Back in 2006, the city of Seattle refused to approve public funding for renovations to KeyArena and effectively ran the SuperSonics out of town. The city did, however, keep the rights to the "SuperSonics name," ostensibly in the belief that they would one day entice the team back or begin the SuperSonics anew as an expansion team.
But now, Seattle holding onto the SuperSonics namesake seems more like an ex who hangs on to a t-shirt of yours as a creepy memento of the past.
Let's make this thing happen, Seattle. If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball, and by the transitive property, if your town can support a wildly popular soccer team, it can scrape together the wherewithal to support a basketball team the entire nation wants to see again.
2. Las Vegas, Nevada: NFL, NBA, NHL, All of the Sports
Bring the sports to Vegas. All of the sports.
How this hasn't happened yet is mind-blowing to an extent that it can only be explained by boxing's jealous grip on sports hegemony on the strip. Because everything else about bringing pro football/basketball/hockey/literally any athletic event you can bet your retirement on makes total sense in the overall context of this town.
Vegas already has a stranglehold on legal, live sports betting, and the additional urgency of betting on sports at the actual venue would be all but irresistable.
3. Montreal, Canada: MLB
Bring back the Expos. The team can be trash, but the boom in apparel sales from baseball hipsters will cover expenses for a decade.
4. Charlotte, North Carolina: MLB
A squeaky clean and finely-appointed commuter town, Charlotte, North Carolina is prime grounds for a professional baseball franchise. Charlotte's also the 17th most populous U.S. city in the country, so it has the bandwidth to support an MLB franchise if handled properly.
5. Memphis, Tennessee: MLB
Located smack dab in the middle of deep, minor league country, there's clearly a market for baseball in Memphis, which already boasts AutoZone Park—home of the Memphis Redbirds and the third largest triple-A ballpark in the country.
Also, Tennessee plays host to five Triple-A baseball teams. Something must be done here.
6. San Antonio, Texas: NFL
This is in the works? Not really, but kind of.
Mark Davis wants money for a new stadium for the Raiders, and he's been publicly exploring a list of new host cities in an all but naked attempt to pressure the city of Oakland into approving public funding for the project.
One of the towns Davis has conjured up interest in is San Antonio, which probably won't happen, but could actually be a good, workable town for an NFL franchise. Already, San Antonio has proven capable of supporting an NBA franchise - - a well-run and remarkably successful franchise, but a franchise nonetheless.
So let's roll the dice on an NFL team in San Antone. The professional sports market might be crowded in Texas, but there's more than enough McMansion money in this state for another team at the oil well.
7. Louisville, Kentucky: Literally Anything
It's only an hour and a half from Cincinnati, but Louisville not having a single pro sports franchise feels like a clerical oversight.
8. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: NFL
We're doing it. It probably won't work, but we're doing it.
9. Kansas City, Missouri: NBA
Kansas City needs more than baseball and the Chiefs, because Jamaal Charles' ligaments are aging like grapes on the dashboard and lord knows the other shoe is going to drop on this Royals thing sooner or later. And there are too many crazy people in this town for any sports passion to go untapped and un-vented.
10. San Diego, California: NFL
Just planning ahead here, Chargers fans.
Dan is on Twitter. He's all for a team in your town, provided your town is not trash.