3 Cities That Should Have Professional Teams
Tuesday June 20, 2017
By: Orri Benatar
By tomorrow evening, we will have the roster for the first professional sports franchise in the city of Las Vegas. The Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL are in the process of selecting players from the expansion draft and their full roster will be revealed at the NHL Awards Show. By 2019, Las Vegas will have an NFL team when the Oakland Raiders relocate. I think it's crazy that Las Vegas just got a professional sports team and it got me thinking about other cities that could be great places for professional sports. Here are three cities that are ideal candidates.
1. Louisville, Kentucky
Of American cities in the top 30 of population (not metro population), Louisville is one of four that does not have a major professional team. The other three are Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso which are all in Texas and we don’t need more teams in Texas. Louisville has always been a sports eccentric town with the Louisville Cardinals success in basketball and football. Louisville also is home to the Kentucky Derby, the most famous thoroughbred horse race in the country. There are no professional horse racing teams so ideally, I think basketball or baseball would be the best candidates for a professional sports team. It would be so cool if the home of Louisville Slugger baseball bats had an MLB team. Louisville, Kentucky is a vibrant city with a lot of history and would add a fresh, new option for midwest divisions.
2. Wichita, Kansas
This is a bit of a wild card but I think the state of Kansas should have a real professional team that isn’t near the border. The Chiefs and Royals have offered Kansas sports fans a second option to either Kansas or Wichita State basketball, but the Chiefs and Royals are really products of Missouri. The middle of the United States doesn’t have many professional sports teams and Wichita, Kansas is the answer to expand leagues. College basketball rules in Kansas but I think an NBA or NFL team will attract fans from across the state. Middle america deserves a team and Wichita is an exceptional place to have one.
3. Richmond, Virginia
How can the home of the most U.S. presidents not have a professional sports team? The state of Virginia relies on the Virginia Tech Hokies for football and the Virginia Cavaliers for basketball. In the pro world, Virginia residents root for teams from Washington D.C. If any city in Virginia should have a pro team, Richmond probably makes the most sense. With 1.3 million in the metropolitan area, Richmond is smack in the middle of the state and would make an excellent new addition to atlantic coast professional sports teams. Richmond has the potential to be home to an NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL team with its moderate market size and the interest of Virginians in professional sports. I don’t think they deserve to watch the Redskins miss the playoffs and then every other D.C. team to choke out of the playoffs (Nationals, Wizards, and Capitals). Kentucky and Kansas are great states, but Virginia is the state that most deserves a professional team.