So we focus mostly on college sports realignment on this site. But we also have each pro sports covered as teams consider moving.
I thought it would be a fun thread to get people's insights on pro sports realignment.
The thread is simple: just list a few sports, cities, teams that you think make the most logical sense for a move.
Note that this shouldn't be a dream wishes thread. Things like the New York Knicks moving to Albuquerque are not logical.
Criteria should primarily be:
1) current team having financial struggles in existing city (due to small market)
2) Let's not play the greed game where leagues like the NBA want smaller, weaker markets offering new arenas fully paid for by taxpayers so that the league can get rich even if it means a team going to a city they will not be successful in.
3) Cities without a team with the facilities or ability to build a facility that would be a win-win for a team/league.
Here are a few examples:
NBA:Nets to Brooklyn:
It's already set to happen for 2012-2013. And it makes sense. Jersey was fine, but in Brooklyn (one of the largest US cities if it were on it's own), the Nets have a chance to grab more of the NY market from the Knicks.LA Clippers to Anaheim:
There has been talk of the Sacramento Kings moving to Anaheim, and the city is an option for the NBA owned Hornets as well. But LA already has two teams...in the same arena. A Clippers move to Anaheim would likely retain their LA fanbase (much smaller than Lakers) but also add the large Orange County fanbase. Might even get back the entire San Diego market in the process. Best of all, they would keep their LA Clippers name.Sacramento Kings to Las Vegas:
The Kings have had little success getting a new arena in Sacramento. And they appear to be the top option for Anaheim. But when you have a city like Las Vegas which is close to funding news facilities (football, baseball, as well as a basketball/hockey arena) and the Kings owners make their primary living in Las Vegas (Maloof brothers), then why goto Anaheim where you'll need to pay BOTH the Lakers and Clippers a fee to be in the market when you can goto Las Vegas on the cheap? And you won't need to rely on just Las Vegas (one of the fastest growing cities) population for attendance. You have so much tourism to the city, that with the right marketing, you can turn a Kings game into something people do when they visit Las Vegas. From a marketing side, you get to keep the name "Kings" and just tweak the logo to be the king of diamonds.NBA Owners Hornets to Seattle:
The Sonics leaving Seattle should never have happened. it was a case of the league wanting the city/state to pay 100% for a new arena. When they wouldn't, the new owner moved the team to a small market of Oklahoma City (where the owner is from). The Hornets will be moved, that we know. And Seattle deserves a team again. They do need a new arena though. You have Steve Ballmer interested still in ownership, as well as former Seattle great Sean Payton. Best option: a Ballmer owned franchise with Payton as a co-owner. A new arena where the current Key Center is would be ideal. If not, perhaps south of the city in the same area as the baseball and football stadiums. But Ballmer would need to pay for much of the new arena and the city would need to spend some money. Perhaps losing the Sonics will change their stance.Someone to Kansas City:
It's less likely a basketball option. But they have an arena. The problem is that when the sonics moved, KC is likely where they should have gone. Can you have the NBA in New Orleans, Memphis, Oklahoma City and Kansas city...but not in Seattle or Las Vegas?
NFL:49ers Stay in SF:
Why move to Santa Clara? You already have the Oakland Raiders servicing Oakland and south into San Jose. San Francisco is about to lose another team. Sure, the Warriors are across the bay in Oakland now. And you have the Giants. But it's sad to see that the city wasn't able to just tear down and rebuild a new stadium at Candlestick. Playing a season at the Giants ballpark wouldn't have been the end of the world. Instead, they are leaving SF.Chargers to Los Angeles
The Chargers want a new stadium in San Diego, but the city has balked in the past. Originally, there was talk about (2) stadiums in LA: one in LA and one in Orange county/Long beach. Now that it appears that 1 stadium is the goal, the Chargers are at bat. There are already many Chargers fans in LA since the Raiders and Rams left. And with a move to nearby LA, you likely retain much of the current SD fanbase. The Chargers in LA would still be the local SD NFL game every week, so the transition would be somewhat seemless on both sides.Jacksonville Jaguars to Los Angeles:
Jacksonville never should have gotten a team in the first place. St. Louis was one of the expansion options that year (with Charlotte, Memphis and Jacksonville). Instead, St. Louis wooed the Rams from the #2 market, LA, when they failed to get an expansion team.
The league seemed excited about adding another Florida franchise int he football rich state. But it never worked. Jacksonville is one of the US cities where you are within the city borders...and you live on a farm. The demographics just aren't there. They have stadium issues, population issues, TV blackout issues. Enter LA. You've got everything lined up for a new stadium. You have the market. Jacksonville makes more sense than the Vikings. Minnesota deserve a team, despite the roof issues. It would be sad to see the Vikings leave Minnesota to LA while Jacksonville still has a team. Buffalo Bills to Toronto:
It will always be tough times in Buffalo due to the market. Owner Ralph Wilson has said he's never move the team in his lifetime, nor sell it. He saw the venom aimed at Art Modell for leaving Cleveland and has commented on it. But when the time comes when Wilson no longer owns the team, Toronto makes sense. It's close enough to Buffalo that you will retain some of the upstate NY fanbase. But Toronto is a large enough city to become a 4 sport town (Jays, Raptors, Leafs). They could actually make an interesting move. The Bills could be sold and moved there, and they could just add the new name "Argonauts" to the franchise. It would appear like the Argonauts were just "upgrading" from the CFL to the NFL from a marketing sense. Vikings to LA:
I don't think Minnesota should lose their team. But if the Vikings were to leave, LA would be the only city worth leaving to.Someone to Las Vegas:
Jacksonville and Minnesota seem to be the two franchises considering moving. If they both moved, and Los Angeles got one, then Vegas is an option. They have announced recently that they could be funding new stadiums/arenas for football, baseball and basketball (retractable roof for mlb/nfl). With only 8 home games a year, a Vegas NFL team would really be able to sell as an event to take in when visiting the city.
You've got 4 teams that rank at the bottom for revenue, some have subpar facilities, all have small fanbases. We have markets in Canada that all make sense. Remember, the US and CA dollars are almost equal now. So there isn't the same salary problem that existed int he past. Sure, taxes are higher, but the gap has closed.
And then we have markets looking for teams:Someone to Hamilton, Ontario:
Hamilton makes sense. It would be similar to the Devils in NJ: part of the NY market but getting it's own team. Hamilton is close enough to Toronto, but it's a hockey country and Hamilton wants a team. Someone to Winnepeg:
It's a smaller market than many. But it's Canada. Winnepeg might not be Toronto, but they will support the team, something that can't be said for all the teams mentioned above.Someone to Quebec:
Fans from the city recently had a demonstration where they traveled to an Islanders game to prove their fandom. Quebec only lost the Nordiques because of the 90's NHL boom in the US following Gretzky leaving for Los Angeles. Hockey in many US markets, especially the south, just isn't there like it was once. Meanwhile, Hockey is still Canada's sport. And Quebec would do more with a team now than most cities.Someone to Seattle:
Seattle once had a team. Now they don't. No basketball either. And while the NBA prefers "NBA Only" arenas, it's a lot to ask in this economy. But what if Seattle funded a state of the art arena to bring back the NBA...but also the NHL? With two sports, it means events every night. With only basketball, that just isn't the game. The NBA would need to learn to be flexible though. But it's worth exploring.Someone to Kansas City:
They have an arena, have spoken with the Islanders. Since the NBA is unlikely, NHL is the only option. Not exactly a hockey town, but could be better than some of the southern markets.
MLB:Athletics to San Jose:
Oakland had it's day. But with so much of the MLB demo now in silicon valley, a move past Freemont, all the way to San Jose makes sense now. The two parties have had discussions already and a proposed stadium has been revealed.Tampa Rays to Portland:
The Rays have wanted a new stadium deal for some time. If it doesn't happen, they will consider relocation. Portland is an option as the city has expressed interest in MLB. Just requires a stadium at this point.Tampa Rays to Las Vegas:
Vegas remains an option for an MLB team now with a proposed new retractable roof stadium. Tampa Rays to San Antonio:
This is a scenario, like the other 2 for the Rays, that has been explored. But a 3rd baseball team in Texas, when the Rangers aren't raking in a ton of money?Tampa Rays to Orlando:
See next option...Brewers to Orlando:
Listing this because there were rumored discussions. Again, if Orlando were to get a baseball team, wouldn't it make more sense for the Rays to move there? Even better, MLB should push for the Marlins to take the name "Miami Marlins" and free up "Florida" for an Orlando/Tampa franchise: 4/5 of the games in say Orlando, 1/5 in Tampa.
Resources:http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/32/nba ... _Rank.htmlhttp://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/30/spo ... venue.htmlhttp://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/31/nhl ... venue.htmlhttp://www.forbes.com/2009/04/22/yankee ... -land.html
So those are just a few options.
What makes sense to you?