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AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

NFL Expansion: 18-Game Season Coming Soon And St. Louis Could Be Set For New Franchise


The 2021 NFL season has already been crazy enough, but things can get even crazier in the coming years. Rumors of expansion franchises is heating up, with even some talk of the NFL potentially expanding to 40 teams at some point.

 

Whatever happens with the number of franchises in the league, an expansion to an 18-game regular season schedule is a lock to happen down the line. This season’s jump to 17 games featured the first expansion since 1978, and additional games are on the horizon. Adding more franchises could make the schedule formula add up a little easier.

 

Massive shifts like additional games, playoff teams, and franchises generate more interest (and more revenue) for the NFL, and it also leads to a few fluctuations when it comes to Las Vegas NFL football odds. More teams mean more competitors—which means more bettors—sweetening the sports betting pot considerably.

 

On his Let’s Go! podcast with Jim Gray, Tom Brady condemned the addition of a 17th regular season game, calling it “pointless” and a “terrible decision”. He’s certainly not alone in being against the additional game on the schedule.

 

However, times are changing. 18 games will happen at some point, and additional NFL franchises probably come with that. Brady said there was nothing wrong with the 16 games, which it’s difficult to disagree with given its symmetry with the 32 NFL teams and with how the schedule used to work in terms of opponents each season.

 

With the schedule expanded from 16 games (and thus more money for the NFL), more teams (and even more money for the NFL) is the next logical step.

 

Among the potential landing spots for the next NFL franchise, St. Louis must be near the top of the list. The city had the Rams taken away in a move many in the area were understandably very angry, frustrated, and heartbroken about. The people in the region are not fans of Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

 

St. Louis has shown that they have among the best sports fans in America over the years. Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals boast one of the best fanbases in baseball. And the recent Stanley Cup run by the St. Louis Blues in the NHL was another reminder of the city having stellar fans. Despite the unhappiness with the Rams moving away, the NFL would not have trouble garnering interest with a new St. Louis expansion team.

 

So, St. Louis is arguably the best spot for an NFL expansion franchise, but there are many other possibilities if the league adds up to eight more franchises. London is an obvious one and might even host two teams like Los Angeles and New York do. Areas like the Dakotas and Alabama have awesome football fans and could probably have pro teams work there. And there are other international cities like Mexico City and Toronto are worthy of consideration. Even Germany is a place that’s rabid about the NFL.

 

Overall, an 18-game season could be coming soon. And with it, a new franchise (or several of them) could be on the way. St. Louis and London are the obvious spots for expansion franchises.

 

The world, including the NFL, took a financial hit due to COVID-19. That could be remedied to some extent by adding more games and more teams to the schedule.

24 Comments

  • Mark N Bryant III

    If it goes to 40 NFL teams, I would do it like this: 5 teams in each conference to preserve the final game of the season to be divisional games. Also, the division champion with the worst record would open on the road against the 4th seed (ex. 2 seed (division winner) will face 7th seed, 3 seed (division winner) and 4th seed (division winner) would host 5th seed (division winner).) Also, the following cities would be given an NFL team: 1) Saint Louis, 2) Oakland, 3) San Diego (each cities lost teams via relocation, and it’s only fitting that the NFL rights these wrongs), 4) San Antonio TX (TX can handle 3 NFL teams), 5) Orlando, FL (FL can handle 4 NFL teams, especially with the Pro Bowl having been there, and this is an emerging market), 6) Oklahoma City, OK (OK has proven great for football), 7) Columbus, OH (Ohio could support 3 NFL teams, with each in different areas of the state) and 8) a toss up between Portland, OR (create a geographical rivalry to the Seattle Seahawks) and Austin, TX (again, TX can handle 3 NFL teams, maybe 4, for which TX is the 2nd most populated state in USA, behind CA, and Austin has many economic advantages that would support NFL football)

  • Anonymous

    The only international city that I would put a NFL team is Toronto. However, I would expand to cities like St. Louis, San Diego, San Antonio/Austin, Portland and probably Salt Lake City first

  • Josh

    If the expand into Europe they need at least three to four teams. It will help keep traveling down and give it a strong foot hold there. St. Louis and San Deigo should get teams too. Maybe Oakland if they build a new stadium.

    Last team or two would be interesting to place. No more in Florida they don’t fill the stands with three teams, Columbus will not work they are all college. Toronto is close to Buffalo which might be moving so maybe? Portland and Salt Lake would be okay choices.

  • Anonymous

    Why would we subject all these American teams to flying to London and dealing with an 8 hour flight from NY or a 12 hour flight from the West coast. Plus the time zone difference. Forget the Brits. If you want to include a foriegn country, include Canada. Toronto and Vancouver and possibly Montreal. So there’s 3 teams. Restore teams in St Louis and San Diego. Now you only have to search for 3 cities large enough to host an NFL team. Here are a couple of my thoughts. Hampton Roads Va. Population around 1.5 million. The area between Winston Salem- Greensboro and Ralei

  • Anonymous

    Why would we subject all these American teams to flying to London and dealing with an 8 hour flight from NY or a 12 hour flight from the West coast. Plus the time zone difference. Forget the Brits. If you want to include a foriegn country, include Canada. Toronto and Vancouver and possibly Montreal. So there’s 3 teams. Restore teams in St Louis and San Diego. Now you only have to search for 3 cities large enough to host an NFL team. Here are a couple of my thoughts. Hampton Roads Va. Population around 1.5 million. The area between Winston Salem- Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham. There’s a good 2 million in that part of NC. And San Antonio-Austin. That’s another 3.5 milluon

  • Don Sudia

    Why would we subject all these American teams to flying to London and dealing with an 8 hour flight from NY or a 12 hour flight from the West coast. Plus the time zone difference. Forget the Brits. If you want to include a foriegn country, include Canada. Toronto and Vancouver and possibly Montreal. So there’s 3 teams. Restore teams in St Louis and San Diego. Now you only have to search for 3 cities large enough to host an NFL team. Here are a couple of my thoughts. Hampton Roads Va. Population around 1.5 million. The area between Winston Salem- Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham. There’s a good 2 million in that part of NC. And San Antonio-Austin. That’s another 3.5 mil. Or maybe Columbus Ohio or Oklahoma City.

  • JJames

    I don’t think expanding into Europe would be ideal for the NFL, unless they formed a European NFL league, because there are too many variables that would cheapen the product. That said, I can see expanding into Canada or Mexico, but there are a number of US cities that would be ideal expansion cities.
    1. St Louis.
    2. Memphis. They have a passionate sports fan base and a strong and deep football culture. The city of Memphis, the university of Memphis, and its region has given birth to a number of NFL players. The region is full of talent.
    They’re still upset the Titans moved to Nashville and Jacksonville was given a team. There’s no doubt a team wouldn’t be successful there.
    3. St Lake City.
    4.Oklahoma City. They’re just a football city. I do believe a team would fair well there.
    5. San Diego.
    6. Des Moines.

  • Anonymous

    Bring back Cardinals to St LOUIS and ARIZONA change to RoadRunners .ARIZONA keep their players and staff , just change the mascot and colors. Cardinals belong to St Louis. What about San Antonio ? For many years , waiting to get in only USFL , XFL provided. Dakotas ?? Cool

  • Anonymous

    Here It is
    1.Jaguars move to london
    2.St louis gets a team
    3.Screw oakland nobody likes them
    4.Austin
    5.Toronto
    6.Birmingham
    7.Pahrump
    8.Boise
    That is my prediction
    P.S Sorry oakland fans its true i mean litteraly all your teams are leaving the raiders the a’s are moving pretty son youll have no teams P.S I just thought about this but the a’s and raiders both left oakland for the same city VEGAS

  • Dyllan

    Here It is
    1.Jaguars move to london
    2.St louis gets a team
    3.Screw oakland nobody likes them
    4.Austin
    5.Toronto
    6.Birmingham
    7.Pahrump
    8.Boise
    That is my prediction
    P.S Sorry oakland fans its true i mean litteraly all your teams are leaving the raiders the a’s are moving pretty son youll have no teams P.S I just thought about this but the a’s and raiders both left oakland for the same city VEGAS

  • Yes

    No Alabama or Mississippi. They have no support for lottery because it’s a sin. They are too backwards nobody wants to do business there.

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