NFL Expansion: These 10 Cities Absolutely Need NFL Teams

by Julian Sonny

The NFL has made it no secret what its next big move is -- international expansion. And with games being played at Wembley Stadium in London every year, it looks like it could actually be the first major American sports organization to finally reach itself across the pond.

But while there's no denying that England would be a great football town, why isn't commissioner Roger Goodell looking at other viable suitors in our own backyard?

There's a handful of great cities in the US alone that would create perfect football environments and help generate some money and excitement back in the community.

But then again, the prospect of spreading the game into other markets far and wide is exciting too. Whatever happens next needs to happen soon. These are the 10 cities that absolutely need an NFL team.

Toronto, Canada


City Population: 2.503 million

Where Could They Play? Rogers Center

Why They Deserve It: 

As a token of appreciation for Drake and Justin Bieber, it's only right that Toronto has its own football team. Canada is the second most popular country for football already, and we all know that they have what it takes to have a pro American sports team.

Honolulu, Hawaii


City Population: 374,658

Where Could They Play? Aloha Stadium

Why They Deserve It:

Look at this as the retirement destination for players. Who wouldn't want to end up in Hawaii as they wind down their careers? The NFL has teased for years now by having Aloha Stadium host the Pro Bowl game every year. It's about time they get the respect they deserve.

Birmingham, Alabama

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

City Population: 212,038

Where Could They Play? Bryant-Denny Stadium (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Why They Deserve It:

They love football down in Alabama and in Birmingham, a new franchise would kill. We've already seen the effect the Crimson Tide has on Tuscaloosa, so there's no way it couldn't work just 60 miles away. Just imagine all of the southern belles that would show up to the games. Sheesh!

Portland, Oregon

Oregon State

City Population: 603,106

Where Could They Play? Reser Stadium (Corvallis, OR)

Why They Deserve It:

If there's one thing we do know, it's that the Pacific northwest is the perfect backdrop for some football. The Seattle Seahawks and the 12th man prove that fans will get up for their team, even with the depressing weather, and collegiate programs like the Oregon Ducks in Eugene make an even better case. Hell, even in Corvallis, the Oregon State Beavers know how to play some ball.

Las Vegas, Nevada

MGM Resorts

City Population: 596,424

Where Could They Play? MGM Arena (Concept)

Why They Deserve It:

Any pro sports team in Sin City would be a huge gamble with all of the distractions and temptations off the field, but they could easily sell out stadiums with an NFL team. Sure the XFL wasn't a hit, but get some real pros to play in the desert and let's see what happens.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

City Population: 599,199

Where Could They Play? Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium

Why They Deserve It:

The Sooner state deserves an NFL team just as much as anywhere else in the country. We already saw what kind of effect the Oklahoma City Thunder has had on the community. Not only do they sell out pretty much every game, but they've built one of the most stacked rosters in the league. An NFL franchise would instantly make OKC one of the greatest sports towns in the country.

Tokyo, Japan


City Population: 8.946 million

Where Could They Play? Tokyo Dome

Why They Deserve It:

Sure it may sound like a farce, but Japan is the most realistic destination for an NFL franchise if the league were ever to expand into Asia. Not only do they have one of the biggest populations in the world (more people means more money), but they already have a pro football culture out there that is growing.

London, England

Harry Engels/Getty Images

City Population: 8.174 million

Where Could They Play? Wembley Stadium

Why They Deserve It:

When the NFL leaves the states, London is no doubt going to be where a new team lands. Not only do the Brits just love football as much as their American counterparts, but they already have the facilities to host.

Wembley Stadium has been the backdrop for every NFL game in England thus far and with a 90,000 person seating capacity, they would sell out every home game on Sunday. Of course logistics is an issue, but we already know that wouldn't be an issue.

Los Angeles, California

Farmer's Field

City Population: 3.858 million

Where Could They Play? Farmer's Field (Concept)

Why They Deserve It:

The fact that Los Angeles doesn't have a football team is an absolute travesty. While the Rams and Raiders both flopped in Hollywood back in the 70s and 80s, that was decades ago and the landscape of the game has changed drastically since then.

LA is probably the most realistic destination for a new NFL franchise, or a relocating team, as the city has been making some serious moves to add a new stadium that would support not only a pro sports franchise but a Super Bowl. Roger Goodell already gave his blessings, so it probably won't be long until we see something happen.

A New York team that actually plays in New York City

CG Architect

City Population: 8.337 million

Where Could They Play? West Side Stadium

Why They Deserve It:

In a serious attempt to attract the Olympic committee to choose New York as the host city for the 2008 Olympics, a Jets stadium was conceptualized that would have been situated in the west side of Manhattan.

That of course never materialized as many of us are still wondering why both New York city sports teams play in New Jersey. Sure New Yorkers are used to it, but when you actually think of the fact that their beloved Jets and Giants play in -- Jersey -- it makes us all sick!

Top Photo Courtesy of Farmer's Field