NFL Expansion: Largest Cities Without an NFL Team

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(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Colton Pool @CPoolReporter Aug 16, 2022, 3:15 PM
  • Ten of the 30 most populated cities in the United States don’t have NFL teams.
  • Two franchises with promising NFL odds left highly-populated cities in the last decade.

When the Rams won their championship in 2021, they did so as the Super Bowl favorite in NFL betting odds in their own stadium and representing their home of Los Angeles.

This was after the Rams moved from St. Louis in 2016. Then the Chargers moved back to LA from San Diego in 2017.

Within about a year, LA went from no NFL teams to two. But that leaves plenty of deserving cities without a franchise.

Largest Cities Without an NFL Team

RankCityPopulation
1San Antonio, Texas1.5 million
2San Diego, California1.4 million
3San Jose, California1 million
4Austin, Texas996,000
5Columbus, Ohio929,000
6Oklahoma City, Oklahoma701,000
7El Paso, Texas685,000
8Portland, Oregon666,000
9Memphis, Tennessee630,000
10Milwaukee, Wisconsin574,000

NFL Expansion

Could a St. Louis NFL expansion team be helpful for the league? Or would other cities make more sense?

Certainly, some from the big cities without NFL teams are hopeful for expansion.

That includes San Antonio, the largest city without an NFL team at 1.5 million. Ten of the 30 most populated cities in the United States do not have NFL teams. 

St. Louis is not one of those cities in the top 10, but San Diego is. In fact, two California cities are in the top 10, as San Diego is second with 1.4 million people and San Jose is third with 1 million. 

Texas leads the way with three, and that’s after not including Fort Worth with its proximity to Dallas. Austin has 996,000 people, and El Paso has 685,000.

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About the Author

Colton Pool

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Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.

Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.