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memphis born

Can Memphis Support a Nfl Team

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The New orleans saints would be a good fit for Memphis IMO. I realize the city is still dealing with the controversy of the fed ex forum, so the political climate is not good now for another team, but in a year or 2 like other projects this will subside and more talk of a nfl team will surface. Can someone elaborate on this topic, and the latest on Tom Benson (owner of the saints) plan to relocate the team and when?

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The New orleans saints would be a good fit for Memphis IMO. I realize the city is still dealing with the controversy of the fed ex forum, so the political climate is not good now for another team, but in a year or 2 like other projects this will subside and more talk of a nfl team will surface. Can someone elaborate on this topic, and the latest on Tom Benson (owner of the saints) plan to relocate the team and when?

IMO, its too soon. The city can't afford an NFL stadium right now. Memphis still hasn't sold out every NBA game yet so I don't think theres a market for another team. Maybe in a decade or so. This is also a large market for the Titans so the NFL might be reluctant to put a team here.

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I think it could, especially given the relatively inexpensiveness of tickets, and the low number of games to attend. But a stadium would be expensive. On the other hand, we need a new stadium eventually anyway. You don't want to build on speculation; but I would hope the next stadium would be a retractable-roof natural grass doohickey downtown so we could pursue Final Fours in addition to 5 or 6 U of M games, the Liberty Bowl, the Southern Heritage Classic, Bridges classic, occasional soccer events (i.e. qualifiers and exhibitions), and maybe the 8 or so NFL games.

I definitely want to see the NFL here, and I think that if there is a stadium and an interested owner, the NFL shouldn't stand in the way (but they might if LA still doesn't have a franchise; but they can only stand in the way so much).

I don't think Benson's going anywhere in the near future. If he is, it's LA, much to his own chagrin. He's been trying to manipulate the Saints into his hometown SA for so long. Which might be the best strategy to pursue for Memphis. Get a local group to buy the Saints or Vikings or whatever, bide their time, and seek a move when local support dwindles. Not the most ethical thing to do, but you've seen attempts at that for other cities before.

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Back when Memphis was still an NFL expansion candidate (up until 1992), the answer to you question would have been an emphatic "yes". The NFL is an easy sell. It is the most popular of the four major U.S. professional sports, when measured by TV ratings and attendance/sellout percentages. There are only eight home games, and they are all on weekends. This means that you can draw from a wider geographical area than the NBA, NHL or MLB which play 2 or 3 home games a week. It's why a city as small as Green Bay, Wisconsin can be home to a very successful NFL team...they draw fans from throughout Wisconsin.

Could Memphis support an NFL team today? Possibly, but I don't believe they could coexist with the NBA. Not enough corporate support here to accomodate both franchises. The Grizzlies struggle for season ticket buyers as it is, and the presence of an NFL team trying to sell 70,000 tickets and 100+ luxury suites would be overwhelming competition for them.

It is my contention that Memphis could have, and should have, secured and NFL team in 1992 instead of an NBA team in 2001. This did not happen because of poor decisions made by city leadership in the late 1980s. At a time when Memphis was considered a front-runner for an NFL team, the administration decided to spend $60 million on a basketball arena. Keep in mind that there was NO drive going on then to attract an NBA team...everyone was thinking NFL. Shortly thereafter, the NFL made it clear that Memphis needed a new stadium to compete with the packages offered by Jacksonville and Charlotte. But with the Pyramid under construction, there was no political or financial means to spend another $150-200 million on a football stadium. Although hurt by Fred Smith's departure from the ownership picture, and the embarassing announcement that "Hound Dogs" would be the potential team's name, the real killer for the NFL in Memphis was the city's inability to provide a new stadium. Alas, expansion teams went elsewhere and we ended up spending $250m a decade later - for another basketball arena!!!

Because of the Titans presence in Nashville, I believe that the only way the NFL would put a team in Memphis is if both cities grew to be very large - say, among the top 25 metro areas in the U.S. It's the only way they would put two teams within 200 miles of each other. Unfortunately, Memphis' current population growth rates give no indication that this will happen anytime in the next quarter-century.

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I'd rather have the NBA over the NFL. More people come downtown overall. The only sport that beats it is baseball. NHL has 80 something games, like the NBA but NBA games are a little longer I think.

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Back when Memphis was still an NFL expansion candidate (up until 1992), the answer to you question would have been an emphatic "yes". The NFL is an easy sell. It is the most popular of the four major U.S. professional sports, when measured by TV ratings and attendance/sellout percentages. There are only eight home games, and they are all on weekends. This means that you can draw from a wider geographical area than the NBA, NHL or MLB which play 2 or 3 home games a week. It's why a city as small as Green Bay, Wisconsin can be home to a very successful NFL team...they draw fans from throughout Wisconsin.

Could Memphis support an NFL team today? Possibly, but I don't believe they could coexist with the NBA. Not enough corporate support here to accomodate both franchises. The Grizzlies struggle for season ticket buyers as it is, and the presence of an NFL team trying to sell 70,000 tickets and 100+ luxury suites would be overwhelming competition for them.

It is my contention that Memphis could have, and should have, secured and NFL team in 1992 instead of an NBA team in 2001. This did not happen because of poor decisions made by city leadership in the late 1980s. At a time when Memphis was considered a front-runner for an NFL team, the administration decided to spend $60 million on a basketball arena. Keep in mind that there was NO drive going on then to attract an NBA team...everyone was thinking NFL. Shortly thereafter, the NFL made it clear that Memphis needed a new stadium to compete with the packages offered by Jacksonville and Charlotte. But with the Pyramid under construction, there was no political or financial means to spend another $150-200 million on a football stadium. Although hurt by Fred Smith's departure from the ownership picture, and the embarassing announcement that "Hound Dogs" would be the potential team's name, the real killer for the NFL in Memphis was the city's inability to provide a new stadium. Alas, expansion teams went elsewhere and we ended up spending $250m a decade later - for another basketball arena!!!

Because of the Titans presence in Nashville, I believe that the only way the NFL would put a team in Memphis is if both cities grew to be very large - say, among the top 25 metro areas in the U.S. It's the only way they would put two teams within 200 miles of each other. Unfortunately, Memphis' current population growth rates give no indication that this will happen anytime in the next quarter-century.

I believe there were other factors were involved in the NFL pursuit. Including the promises made by Rozelle contingent upon hosting and selling out exhibition games as well as the legislature's failure to fund the necessary improvements to the Liberty Bowl. Remember, Rozelle promised a team regardless of stadium. Memphis did everything he asked of us. He leaves, Tags comes in. He of course has the right to renege and dishonor a prior agreement and look like a putz doing so, but he does, opens the new expansion to many teams. Charlotte does a pioneering thing, and gets the first franchise. Now, it's up to four remaining cities. Jacksonville, Baltimore, St. Louis, and Memphis. It's ironic in numerous ways how Memphis got fu(ked over, first by the NFL, then by the parasitic Bud Adams. First, Memphis was considered the frontrunner based on ownership group, but not when it came to stadium. However, the franchise went to another city that was trying to renovate its stadium. Memphis couldn't match it without the support of the state legislature, which we'll get to in a second. Second, do the cities above look familiar? Why, yes, the other two cities end up with new stadiums and new NFL teams. That would basically be the straw that broke the camel's back when you think about it. Every city ends up with a team . . . except Memphis. Now that the camel's back has been broken, why don't we take a cleaver and chop it right up into little tiny bits. The same legislature that declines support for a renovated Liberty Bowl provides lucrative financial support to another city, where the legislature happens to be located, to lure -- surprise!! -- an NFL team. Not only do the four other cities get an NFL team, but Tennessee gets one, just not in the city that sold out lo so many exhibition games on a promise.

Don't get me started on the rat Bud Adams or his organization. F' the Titans and what they did to Memphis. F' the state legislature for the despicably obvious and stark double standard treatment in the two cities' pursuit of the NFL. To those who say forgive and forget, I say that would do nothing but illustrate a spinelessness of the community that does not exist. Cleveland would not forgive and forget such treatment. Baltimore wouldn't forgive and forget. Nor would Green Bay or Buffalo. Nor would Nashville if the shoe was on the other foot. Memphis fans who resent the NFL, the Titans, Bud Adams, and everyone involved in such a fiasco should not be held to a different standard than boosters and fans who have pride in other cities. The Titans have never, ever treated Memphis as a home, and have never made any overtures (Certainly not while Memphis was their HOME) to earn the support many Titans fans (both in Memphis and elsewhere) seem to feel the team is entitled to in Memphis.

Memphis deserves an NFL team. Above Lfudgein'A. Above San Antonio. But the NFL doesn't award cities that deserve it. It's not obligated to make business decisions based on effort, suffering, honor, or whatever. It's money. So if Memphis provides the money, the NFL/Titans don't really have any logical or moral argument against its entry. It's all about the bones. Right now, we unfortunately probably do not have it. Let's work on that.

Sorry for the rant, but I feel I was pretty restrained. I could say much, much more, but it probably wouldn't come out as polite and considerate. ;) Go Showboats!

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Remember, Rozelle promised a team regardless of stadium. Memphis did everything he asked of us. He leaves, Tags comes in. He of course has the right to renege and dishonor a prior agreement and look like a putz doing so, but he does, opens the new expansion to many teams.

I do seem to recall that the Liberty Bowl was considered acceptable for the NFL, then within a few years it wasn't. That certainly must be taken into account when judging the decisions made by city government. And hindsight is 20/20, of course. But I think it would have been wise for the city to withold building a basketball arena to the tune of $60m until such a time that an NFL franchise had been secured, and it was clear whether or not a major capital investment would have to be made.

The Pyramid, of course, had more to do with downtown development than it did with attracting any particular team. Memphis State already had money earmarked by the state for an on-campus arena, although it would have required some additional fundraising to get all the funds needed to build it. MSU was essentially forced to give up its state funding so that those dollars could be contributed to the Pyramid.

Let's suppose that the city had decided not to build the Pyramid. In 1992-93, when other cities emerged with proposals to build new stadiums for NFL expansion franchises, Memphis could have followed suit. Although there would have been much debate, the city's decades-long craving for the NFL would have provided the popular support to build a $250m downtown stadium, probably located near our current NBA arena and quite possibly named FedExField (instead of the Redskins' stadium built a few years later). MSU would have eventually built its own 17,000 seat arena on the South Campus, probably around 1995, for about $25-30m. In this scenario, the city would have a franchise in the more lucrative NFL, a nice college basketball arena, at a cost of about $30m less than what was paid to build two basketball arenas.

Oh yeah...you'll like this Clobber...in 1997, the Houston Oilers would not have moved to Nashville.

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I believe a lot of it is in how you package yourselves. In the Atlanta area, Memphis is seen as a historic but run-down city who is being out-paced by Nashville. Now I realize to some, the very thought that N'ville is outpacing and outdoing Memphis makes some spit and sputter and in fact, it may not be true. But the perception is real, true or not.

Down here, when folks think of Nashville, they see a modern, growing city, doing what it takes to compete with other similar cities like Charlotte and Jacksonville.

On the other hand, Memphis seems like a city who has lost its edge and is sort of tired. After visiting Memphis several times, I don't see it quite like that myself but I do see a lot of room for investment downtown. While riding the trolleys (which are very cool by the way) my wife and I noticed all the closed up buildings.

And then still in people's minds could be the old WFL and USFL teams that tried it there. To my understanding, the Memphis Showboats were the only USFL team to actually make money. But yet again, perception is everything. In the minds of some, it could be that Memphis is seen as a city who had two chances with pro football and coldn't hang on. It doesn't matter that the USFL folded because it was the USFL and had nothing to do with Memphis as a franchise city.

I dunno, you Memphis folks certainly could disagree but perception is everything and down here, Memphis is quaint, historic, but not very progressive.

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Plasticman, I appreciate your candid comments. Indeed, Nashville and those other cities ARE outpacing Memphis in virutally every facet of development. Any of us Memphis boosters who don't recognize that are kidding ourselves. I'm not just talking about tall buildings or sports teams here...I'm talking about the ability to attract jobs and new residents. Memphis isn't completely standing still, and I wouldn't say Memphis has "lost its edge" because it clearly bottomed out about 25-30 years ago and has been on a slow but steady upswing since then.

But we must come to terms with the fact that we are not a "boomtown", and the demographic/economic trends don't provide evidence that we on the verge of becoming one. People are not lining up to move here. The metro population is not growing much faster than the birthrate, and most of that birthrate increase is occurring in the economically-disadvantaged inner city. On the economic front, Memphis seems unable to land major new employers, like an auto plant. Existing employers like FedEx and International Paper are no longer expanding here like they were before. There is promise in the biotech field, but Memphis cannot rely on a single industry for its future anymore than it can expect to ride FedEx to prosperity for the next 30 years. Studies show that Memphis is at a distinct disadvantage in attracting new jobs because of an under-skilled and under-motivated workforce. A diseased culture of low aspirations, apathy, disdain for education, instant gratification and a victim's mentality permeates much of the community. These are the realities.

So, does that mean that the "historic, run-down" perception of Memphis is fair? Not at all. The trolley route, unfortunately, is not indicative of the vibrancy found along Union, Peabody Place or Beale Street. And while many of the old storefronts remain boarded up, most of the old historic highrises in Downtown have been renovated into condos, or are undergoing restoration now. Many outsiders would be surprised to learn how many new, high-density residential projects are being designed or constructed in the older parts of the city. While few people may be moving into the metro area, a number of existing residents are actually abandoning the bland suburbs and choosing older homes or new condos in the city's core - especially Downtown, Midtown and East Memphis.

Perhaps Memphis is not growing as fast as the cities you mentioned, but to be fair, those are the top performers. Compared to Atlanta, Nashville or Charlotte, most cities' growth and progress would seem lacking. So what do folks in Atlanta think of Birmingham, Louisville, Raleigh, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, or numerous other southern cities? Or outside the south...are we really worse off than places like Buffalo, Cleveland or Detroit? It sounds like you are wise enough to realize this, but people should be careful not to base a city's health strictly by the number of pretty new skyscrapers and double-digit population growth rates.

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Plasticman, I appreciate your candid comments. Indeed, Nashville and those other cities ARE outpacing Memphis in virutally every facet of development. Any of us Memphis boosters who don't recognize that are kidding ourselves. I'm not just talking about tall buildings or sports teams here...I'm talking about the ability to attract jobs and new residents. Memphis isn't completely standing still, and I wouldn't say Memphis has "lost its edge" because it clearly bottomed out about 25-30 years ago and has been on a slow but steady upswing since then.

But we must come to terms with the fact that we are not a "boomtown", and the demographic/economic trends don't provide evidence that we on the verge of becoming one. People are not lining up to move here. The metro population is not growing much faster than the birthrate, and most of that birthrate increase is occurring in the economically-disadvantaged inner city. On the economic front, Memphis seems unable to land major new employers, like an auto plant. Existing employers like FedEx and International Paper are no longer expanding here like they were before. There is promise in the biotech field, but Memphis cannot rely on a single industry for its future anymore than it can expect to ride FedEx to prosperity for the next 30 years. Studies show that Memphis is at a distinct disadvantage in attracting new jobs because of an under-skilled and under-motivated workforce. A diseased culture of low aspirations, apathy, disdain for education, instant gratification and a victim's mentality permeates much of the community. These are the realities.

So, does that mean that the "historic, run-down" perception of Memphis is fair? Not at all. The trolley route, unfortunately, is not indicative of the vibrancy found along Union, Peabody Place or Beale Street. And while many of the old storefronts remain boarded up, most of the old historic highrises in Downtown have been renovated into condos, or are undergoing restoration now. Many outsiders would be surprised to learn how many new, high-density residential projects are being designed or constructed in the older parts of the city. While few people may be moving into the metro area, a number of existing residents are actually abandoning the bland suburbs and choosing older homes or new condos in the city's core - especially Downtown, Midtown and East Memphis.

Perhaps Memphis is not growing as fast as the cities you mentioned, but to be fair, those are the top performers. Compared to Atlanta, Nashville or Charlotte, most cities' growth and progress would seem lacking. So what do folks in Atlanta think of Birmingham, Louisville, Raleigh, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, or numerous other southern cities? Or outside the south...are we really worse off than places like Buffalo, Cleveland or Detroit? It sounds like you are wise enough to realize this, but people should be careful not to base a city's health strictly by the number of pretty new skyscrapers and double-digit population growth rates.

Interesting questions and I am glad you don't view my comments as insults. Personally, I think Memphis is cool. I also think the highrises you do have such as Sterrick and Lincoln American (is that right?) are landmarks of unsurpassed architectural quality. I'd love to have Sterrick in an area between MT and DT Atlanta.

As far as Birmingham? It is sort of like Memphis is that it seems to have stagnated. The roads are awful. There are hints of some new DT growth but we'll see.

Louisville? Kind of a forgotten city. Nobody really thinks about it until derby day. Only with the buzz about Museum Plaza has any real attention went to the city. Not that it is unprogressive, just that it doesn't blow its own horn much.

Raleigh - always in the shadow of Charlotte and yet the whole area is such a growing area, one city almost runs into another.

Norfolk and OC - not really thought about, at least by me.

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If population growth means anything, I wouldn't call Memphis stagnant--during the 90's the pop. of the metro increased 12.5%, which was slightly below the national metro average of 12.9%, which was a higher growth rate than L.A. for example. If Memphis were in the midwest, its growth would rank behind only Minny, Indy, and Columbus. It would outrank any city in the NE except DC.

So, Memphis grows slowly by sunbelt standards, but certainly as much if not moreso than by the standards of other regions. And it has grown at a greater clip than Birmingham or Louisville, or certainly New Orleans.

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When we get an NFL team (not if), it should be named the Showboats. I can see a lot of Memphians wearing the scarlet and silver again.

MemphisShowboats1.pngMemphisShowboats.jpg

It'd be nice to have an updated 21st century look, which will look cool. :thumbsup:

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When we get an NFL team (not if), it should be named the Showboats. I can see a lot of Memphians wearing the scarlet and silver again.

MemphisShowboats1.pngMemphisShowboats.jpg

It'd be nice to have an updated 21st century look, which will look cool. :thumbsup:

That is a pretty f'in sweet lookin uniform. Would love to create a Deangelo Showboats jersey.

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When we get an NFL team (not if), it should be named the Showboats. I can see a lot of Memphians wearing the scarlet and silver again.

MemphisShowboats1.pngMemphisShowboats.jpg

It'd be nice to have an updated 21st century look, which will look cool. :thumbsup:

I hear you Psalm 91, I also think it's just a matter of when not if we get a NFL franchise. I was riding down front street in the pinch district and saw the old greyhound station and the other old buildings and thought this would be a perfect location for a New domed stadium. This site would have rail acess going directly to the stadium. If I hit the lottery I would invest 60 milliom into the naming rights for the stadium. How much do you think a good dome stadium would cost?

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When we get an NFL team (not if), it should be named the Showboats. I can see a lot of Memphians wearing the scarlet and silver again.

Does this mean if you guys get a team we can start calling the Titans the "Nashville Titans" ? :rolleyes:

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Does this mean if you guys get a team we can start calling the Titans the "Nashville Titans" ? :rolleyes:

I don't know if thats fair for the rest of Tennessee

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Does this mean if you guys get a team we can start calling the Titans the "Nashville Titans" ? :rolleyes:

Hey, I'm talking like 20 years from now. I wouldn't see anything wrong with the name change. The logo could still be the same, too. Just think of the rivalry between the two teams...Blue vs. Red, Nashville vs. Memphis, Cumberland River vs. Mississippi River, West vs. Central, NFC vs. AFC. From a marketing standpoint, this would be great.

I'd still rather have the NBA though. :)

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I hear you Psalm 91, I also think it's just a matter of when not if we get a NFL franchise. I was riding down front street in the pinch district and saw the old greyhound station and the other old buildings and thought this would be a perfect location for a New domed stadium. This site would have rail acess going directly to the stadium. If I hit the lottery I would invest 60 milliom into the naming rights for the stadium. How much do you think a good dome stadium would cost?

The one proposed in Birmingham is estimated at about $565 Million.

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Please change the name to the Nashville Titans so only Nashville can be embarassed at their antics and losing record.

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I don't know about that. A lot of young talent on that squad. They are just young now but later (about 3 years from now) they will be back at the top of the NFL. You have Pacman who WILL be one of the league's best corners (better than Samari Rolle), Ben Troupe was a steal, Vince Young's future looks bright. Once everyone gets on the same page, they will be scary.

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Who cares if we can or can't support an NFL team. :angry: We've got the NBA here, so lets be proud of the playoff bound team that we have and stop the what ifs. We have one of the best arenas in the nation, that is smack dab in the middle of an exciting downtown! Lets be happy with that and focus on our future with the Grizzlies instead of our past with the NFL, Oilers, etc.

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Who cares if we can or can't support an NFL team. :angry: We've got the NBA here, so lets be proud of the playoff bound team that we have and stop the what ifs. We have one of the best arenas in the nation, that is smack dab in the middle of an exciting downtown! Lets be happy with that and focus on our future with the Grizzlies instead of our past with the NFL, Oilers, etc.

Amen!

Now who thinks we need a MLB team? :P

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Who cares if we can or can't support an NFL team. :angry: We've got the NBA here, so lets be proud of the playoff bound team that we have and stop the what ifs. We have one of the best arenas in the nation, that is smack dab in the middle of an exciting downtown! Lets be happy with that and focus on our future with the Grizzlies instead of our past with the NFL, Oilers, etc.

I care, do you think I would invest 60 million in a dome stadium if I didn't? The NFL is just what this city needs. I love the fact that we have a NBA team,but this city is large enough to support 2 teams so we should capitalize on the momentum we have right now to attract the SAINTS here in 3 years.

Go Showboats!

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I care, do you think I would invest 60 million in a dome stadium if I didn't? The NFL is just what this city needs. I love the fact that we have a NBA team,but this city is large enough to support 2 teams so we should capitalize on the momentum we have right now to attract the SAINTS here in 3 years.

Go Showboats!

I would feel bad supporting the Saints if they moved to Memphis. I admire their fans and would much rather see Memphis landing an expansion franchise than depriving New Orleans of something special. I couldn't care less about Vancouver, but the Saints belong in New Orleans.

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So Birmingham is going to pull a "Memphis" and build a football stadium when there's no team available? So in 30 years when a team finally is looking to move, the stadium you build today will be outdated and useless. Not a good idea.

We all know the best NFL cities are in the south, but Memphis and B'ham won't get an NFL team anytime soon for the same reason Nashville doesn't have a Nextel cup race: Media Market Size

We can only support so many pro sports. In Tennessee, we have the NBA (mem) NFL, NHL (nash) and Nascar (tri), and that's probably about what we can handle.

Plus, the next 2 NFL franchises are probably going to the LA la land

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