Mayor thinks San Antonio will have an NFL team by the end of the decade

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San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg believes his city is next up for an NFL franchise.

“I said I think last year or the year before, I think San Antonio is an NFL city within 10 years, I still stand by that,” Nirenberg told KSAT. “And that is because of the evolution that’s happening within the National Football League, the fact that it too is becoming an international league, particularly with its sights on Latin America, and we know the role San Antonio plays in that. We are the seventh-largest city in the United States and we knock events out of the park.”

It’s true that San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in America and the biggest without an NFL team. But what matters more to the NFL is the size of the television market, and there are seven metropolitan areas with more TV households than San Antonio that don’t have NFL teams: Orlando, Sacramento, Portland, St. Louis, Raleigh-Durham, San Diego and Salt Lake City.

But Nirenberg is eager to prove that his city can make it work in the NFL, and he’s interested in hosting games at the Alamodome for any team that needs or wants to play games away from its usual home field, in an effort to show what San Antonio can provide.

“There is an opportunity, potentially, to play host to some games in the interim. And that I think is the experience we need to continue to have to show we are a 365-day-a-year NFL city potentially in the near future,” he said.

San Antonio has done that before, hosting three Saints games after New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. At the moment, neither a franchise relocation nor an expansion team appears to be imminent. But Nirenberg wants the NFL to know San Antonio is available — and some owner may use that availability as leverage to get a better stadium deal in a team’s current location.

30 responses to “Mayor thinks San Antonio will have an NFL team by the end of the decade

  1. You’d have to think them and St Louis would be under consideration. Some of the others listed are not viable.

  2. I’d rather not see the league expand, but I don’t know who would be a candidate to relocate. Jaguars? In a normal year nobody really has abysmal attendance so I guess it would be a team in a bad stadium situation. I would really hate to see the Bills or Bengals look at relocating.

  3. Not happening. Texas already has two NFL teams and there are other cities higher on the priority list.

  4. I can’t see the League expanding. So what team would they target?

    Jags?.. if they moved, London seems to be their destination
    Chargers? Would Kronke let them out of their lease? We know Spanos would chase the $1
    Washington? Could Snyders situation get so ugly that he would be forced out?

    If they really wanted a team, they should have put the full court press on Spanos when they had the chance.

  5. Adding just one team makes it an odd number for the league. Don’t you think you need to add at least 4 teams to make it via for the league with two conferences? Does that mean the league will get realignment again, back to 6 divisions?

  6. I don’t want to see any more teams in Texas. Apart from there already being too many 3-team states, lets be honest – in terms of the NFL, Texas has pretty much just been wasting everyone’s time for the last few decades. Let’s spread it around a bit more.

  7. This isn’t happening.
    Jerry Jones will never let a team into San Antonio because it would decapitate his market.

  8. Raiders have promised to go to Boise 1st, but they way their fanbase attends games, I could see them in 3 cities by the end of the decade.

  9. When talking about the San Antonio TV market you really have to include the Austin market too which is growing like crazy. An NFL team in SA would also pull from the Austin area as the Spurs do now.

  10. I have no personal interest in whether or not San Antonio gets an NFL franchise or not. What the NFL needs to control, however, is owners moving franchises. We’ve gotten two new NFL cities in the last – 40? – years. Make that three – AZ.

    What drives me nuts is when a team moves, and then the abandoned city gets an expansion franchise. It basically means that NFL cities keep getting screwed over by owners who are lured to other cities by a stadium and usually a big payday.

    These moves that shuffle teams around aren’t good from a PR standpoint, and an organization as wealthy as the NFL shouldn’t be strong-arming taxpayers for free stadiums and sweetheart deals. But greed is greed.

    St. Louis was prepared to build the Rams ANOTHER new stadium, despite the fact that their current dome was only ~20 years old. That’s crazy. The NFL shouldn’t allow team owners to grift local communities. Now, Kroenke wanted to build his own playground in LA, so the Rams left St. Louis, but that situation was potentially incredibly awful for St. Louis taxpayers.

    The reason I bring all of this up is that the NFL has made clear in recent years that they have no expansion plans, so for SA to get a team it would have to move from somewhere else. Sometimes there are valid reasons for moves, more often there are not (in my opinion, which counts for nothing) and it’s just a matter of greed.

  11. I’d rather not see the league expand, but I don’t know who would be a candidate to relocate. Jaguars? In a normal year nobody really has abysmal attendance so I guess it would be a team in a bad stadium situation. I would really hate to see the Bills or Bengals look at relocating.

    Bengals, Lions, Buccaneers, Bears, Steelers, Colts and Raiders had lower attendance than Jaguars every year since 2017.

  12. Orlando sits right in between the triangle of Jacksonvile, Tampa, and Miami. I can’t see them getting -or needing- a team anytime soon.

  13. The Bengals lease is up in 2026. Taxpayers in Cincinnati won’t approve additional taxes for stadium upgrades. My guess is it’ll be the San Antonio Bengals in 2027.

  14. Makes a lot of sense. San Antonio + Austin are a metropolis. Austin is booming with tech.

    Jags probably end up there.

  15. Certainly possible but not through expansion. That ship has sailed. I can see some possible relocations like the Bengals, possibly Jaguars, or even Houston with Watson deciding what city 😆 lol

  16. Some of these responses are comical. Who in their right mind would leave the DC market for San Antonio? Keep dreaming. WFT will end up with a new stadium within the decade, likely back in the District since they finally capitulated on the name change.

    Doubt a team would leave the LA market (even as a second class citizen) in a brand new stadium for San Antonio either.

    Also, Jerry Jones will never allow it to happen. His market was diluted once with the expansion Texans. He has too much power to let that happen again.

  17. I lived in St Louis for almost 30 years and recently moved away. St Louis has already been burned twice, by Bidwell and Kroenke. Some community business leaders still push for another team like they did for a new Rams stadium on the riverfront, but most locals aren’t interested and they won’t pay for a new stadium from a carpetbagger. The Cards and Blues were more popular than the Rams even during the Greatest Show on Turf days anyway, and by the time the Rams left opposing teams’ fans would often outnumbered Rams fans.

  18. San Antonio already has an NFL team: the Dallas Cowboys. (I also see a few Texans fans here, but not many—Dallas dominates). Agree with above commenter that Jerry Jones wouldn’t allow it to happen. I’m a fan of our mayor and voted for him twice, but I disagree with him on this.

  19. buckdaddy24 says:
    January 22, 2021 at 11:34 am
    The Bengals lease is up in 2026. Taxpayers in Cincinnati won’t approve additional taxes for stadium upgrades. My guess is it’ll be the San Antonio Bengals in 2027.

    ——————————

    As a Bengals fan I hate the thought of this, but when you add 30 years of complete garbage ownership from the Brown family and the lopsided deal the county gave the team, then sadly in 2026 this is a possibility. UNLESS Joe Burrow can manage to win us a couple Super Bowls keeping the Bengals in the greatest city in America.

  20. Well if San Antonio is getting an NFL franchise that rules out the Detroit Lions relocating.

  21. No one that has ever attended a football game in the Alamodome thinks it’s a good place for football. Typical multipurpose design that doesn’t do anything well.

  22. He’s going to have to hope Jerry Jones isn’t still around in 10 years. I don’t know how Jerry would approve another team in Texas.

  23. Fans can speculate all they want to, but I always believe it will come down dollars and cents for the NFL. If the NFL believes they can make more money by expanding, they will expand. If the NFL thinks they can make more money by just moving existing teams around, they will do that. For the NFL, like many businesses, it’s all about mighty buck. That’s will be the determining factor. That’s said, it is fun to speculate!

  24. The posters saying “Jerry wouldn’t allow it” make me laugh.

    Dallas is almost 300 miles from SA, the same distance KC, CHI, IND & TEN are from STL.

    There would be exactly zero overlap in ticket sales or television viewers.

  25. baldbuc says:
    January 22, 2021 at 11:18 am
    When talking about the San Antonio TV market you really have to include the Austin market too which is growing like crazy. An NFL team in SA would also pull from the Austin area as the Spurs do now.

    18 5 Rate This
    AFW AFW says:
    January 22, 2021 at 11:18 am
    I have no personal interest in whether or not San Antonio gets an NFL franchise or not. What the NFL needs to control, however, is owners moving franchises. We’ve gotten two new NFL cities in the last – 40? – years. Make that three – AZ.

    What drives me nuts is when a team moves, and then the abandoned city gets an expansion franchise. It basically means that NFL cities keep getting screwed over by owners who are lured to other cities by a stadium and usually a big payday.

    These moves that shuffle teams around aren’t good from a PR standpoint, and an organization as wealthy as the NFL shouldn’t be strong-arming taxpayers for free stadiums and sweetheart deals. But greed is greed.

    —-

    This.

    One thing, and It’s one if FEW things that I cherish about the Fords owning the Lions is as long as they own the team- which isn’t ever likely to change- the wil never be moved.

  26. FYI to those saying Jerry Jones would never allow it, he’s one vote out of 32 and he explicitly said in a NYTimes interview in 2005 that he would welcome the Saints to San Antonio with open arms if they decided to relocate on a permanent basis.

    The NFL and its owners will likely be thinking about that beautiful relocation fee that gets split 31 ways, especially after a COVID season that robbed them of ticket income.

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