What Is The Largest City In The US Without An NFL Team?




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Have you ever wondered what the largest city in the US is without an NFL team? In this article, we’ll explore this interesting topic and provide you with some insight into the NFL landscape. You’ll learn about the cities that have NFL teams and the unique characteristics of each team. So, if you’re curious to know which city is missing an NFL team, stay tuned for the answer!

What Is The Largest City In The US Without An NFL Team?

What Is The Largest City In The US Without An NFL Team?


American football, often referred to simply as football in the United States, is one of the most popular sports in the country. It is a highly competitive and physically intense game that captures the hearts of millions of fans across the nation. The National Football League (NFL) is the premier professional football league in the United States, known for its high-stakes, adrenaline-pumping games and the iconic Super Bowl. While numerous cities across the nation boast a thriving NFL presence, there are still a few major cities without an NFL team. In this article, we will explore the largest city in the US without an NFL team and delve into the possibilities of future expansions.

Major NFL Cities

Before we discuss the largest city without an NFL team, let’s first take an overview of the NFL and its significance. The NFL is comprised of 32 teams, divided into two conferences: the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). Each conference is further divided into four divisions, creating a highly competitive environment for both players and fans.

Major NFL cities are the epicenters of American football, with millions of fans flocking to stadiums to support their favorite teams. Understanding NFL teams and their distribution is crucial in identifying the largest city without an NFL team. Here is a list of major cities that currently host NFL teams:

  • New York City (Giants, Jets)
  • Los Angeles (Rams, Chargers)
  • Chicago (Bears)
  • Dallas (Cowboys)
  • Philadelphia (Eagles)
  • Houston (Texans)
  • Miami (Dolphins)
  • Atlanta (Falcons)
  • San Francisco / Bay Area (49ers, Raiders)
  • Seattle (Seahawks)
  • Denver (Broncos)
  • Detroit (Lions)
  • Boston (Patriots)
  • Washington, D.C. (Washington Football Team)
  • Phoenix (Cardinals)
  • Minneapolis (Vikings)
  • Indianapolis (Colts)
  • Baltimore (Ravens)
  • Nashville (Titans)
  • New Orleans (Saints)
  • Charlotte (Panthers)
  • Jacksonville (Jaguars)
  • Green Bay (Packers)
  • Pittsburgh (Steelers)
  • Cleveland (Browns)
  • Cincinnati (Bengals)
  • Kansas City (Chiefs)
  • Tampa Bay (Buccaneers)
  • Buffalo (Bills)
  • Las Vegas (Raiders)
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The NFL Expansion

The NFL has a rich history of expansion, continually growing its reach and fanbase. Understanding the history of NFL expansion is essential to predict future developments and identify potential candidates for a new team. Several factors are considered before deciding on an expansion, including market size, fan support, and infrastructure.

In recent years, the NFL has added new franchises to its roster. The most recent expansion was the addition of the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020. This move not only brought football back to Las Vegas but also expanded the league’s presence in the western region of the United States. Other notable recent expansions include the Houston Texans in 2002 and the Carolina Panthers in 1995.

Identifying the Largest City without an NFL Team

To determine the largest city without an NFL team, we must consider factors such as population density and city size. Let’s take a look at some US cities without NFL teams and compare them to find the largest:

  • San Diego, California: A once proud home to the Chargers, San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States. However, the departure of the Chargers in 2017 left this major city without an NFL team.
  • San Antonio, Texas: Known for its rich sports culture, San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the US. Despite being home to the successful NBA team, the San Antonio Spurs, it has yet to secure an NFL franchise.
  • Portland, Oregon: Located in the Pacific Northwest, Portland is the 26th largest city in the US. It boasts a dedicated sports fanbase, but it has yet to acquire an NFL team.
  • Sacramento, California: As the capital of California, Sacramento is a significant metropolitan area. Though it currently lacks an NFL team, it has the potential to support a flourishing franchise.
  • Orlando, Florida: Known for its vibrant tourism industry, Orlando is the fifth-largest city in Florida. It hosts various professional sports teams, including NBA’s Orlando Magic, but an NFL team is yet to call Orlando home.
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After analyzing the available data, it can be concluded that San Diego, California is the largest city in the US without an NFL team.

What Is The Largest City In The US Without An NFL Team?

Potential Candidates

While San Diego seems to be the largest city without an NFL team at present, it is essential to explore other potential candidates. Major US cities like San Antonio, Portland, Sacramento, and Orlando have also been mentioned as potential hosts for future NFL franchises.

Factors impacting city selection for NFL expansion include market potential, infrastructure capabilities, and fan support. When considering the potential candidates, it is crucial to evaluate these factors to determine which city has the strongest case for a new NFL team.

Comparison with CFL and Other Leagues

While the NFL reigns supreme in American football, it is essential to acknowledge other leagues that exist alongside it. The Canadian Football League (CFL) is the premier football league in Canada and has its own dedicated fanbase.

Additionally, there have been alternative American football leagues throughout history, such as the United States Football League (USFL) in the 1980s and the more recent Alliance of American Football (AAF). These leagues, although popular at the time, ultimately failed to sustain themselves.

The differentiating factors between the NFL and other leagues lie in their structure, rules, and level of competition. The NFL remains the pinnacle of American football, drawing in the best players from around the world and captivating fans with its high-octane matchups.

What Is The Largest City In The US Without An NFL Team?

Fan Base and Local Support

American football has a passionate and dedicated fan base, with fans in both NFL and non-NFL cities displaying immense enthusiasm for the sport. These non-NFL cities often find creative ways to engage with the game, from hosting watch parties to organizing local leagues.

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Community engagement and fan culture play a significant role in the success of American football, regardless of whether the city has an NFL team. Supporting local college or NCAA teams allows fans to celebrate the sport on a smaller scale and foster a love for the game within their communities.

Economic Impact

The NFL holds a vital role in the economy of the cities it calls home. Hosting an NFL team brings about numerous economic benefits, including job creation, increased tourism, and a boost to local businesses.

Furthermore, the introduction of an NFL team into a city can lead to revitalization efforts and market expansion. The NFL’s widespread popularity ensures a significant influx of revenue, which can be harnessed to build infrastructure and improve the overall quality of life for residents.

Challenges and Obstacles

Expanding the NFL to include new teams in non-NFL cities comes with its fair share of challenges and obstacles. Existing NFL teams may show opposition to new additions, fearing the dilution of their fanbase or potential competition for resources.

Infrastructure and stadium costs pose another significant hurdle, as constructing a state-of-the-art stadium that satisfies the needs and expectations of fans and players can be a costly endeavor. Additionally, logistical considerations, such as travel arrangements for teams and fans, must be carefully planned and implemented for a successful expansion.


In conclusion, San Diego currently holds the title for the largest city in the US without an NFL team. However, several other major cities, including San Antonio, Portland, Sacramento, and Orlando, also present potential opportunities for NFL expansion. The NFL’s history of growth and success, along with the passionate fanbase and economic impact it brings to cities, make it an exciting prospect for any potential host city. As the sport continues to capture the hearts of Americans, the possibility of future NFL expansions remains a topic of great interest and anticipation.

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