Happy Thanksgiving

In preparation to celebrate a truly American holiday, Thanksgiving, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support over the past several months.


This blog, Frank’s Forum, would not be the vibrant place for the exchange of ideas that it is without you, my readers. I appreciate your time in visiting my website and my blog here on Word Press, as well as your time in writing comments on the articles posted here.


Furthermore, I appreciate greatly all of your support of the articles I have written for other websites and news organizations. I know many of you have gone out of your way to locate those articles and to provide me with encouraging complements as well as ideas for potential news stories.


I have been touched by the responses that all of you have provided to me regarding my work, including my creative work and the guides for new and young writers. My poetry and creative work are very special to me, and your overwhelmingly positive responses to that work is very gratifying to me.


It has been a difficult year for so many people, as I have covered in some of my news stories about Hurricane Sandy and most recently with the typhoon in the Philippines as well as the tornadoes in the Midwestern United States. I give thanks for the generosity of the human spirit in the aftermath of each one of those tragic events. The capacity of people to help others in need is heartwarming in a world that seems otherwise to be filled with negativity at many points.


The relief efforts will take a long time, but they will be successful not only in the Philippines, but close to home here in the U.S., areas that were effected by Hurricane Sandy and the recent tornadoes. All of these areas will eventually recover because that is an integral part of the human spirit, the resiliency to carry on, to move forward.


The Pilgrims had that same resilient spirit when they forged the unknown dangers of the high seas and risked their lives to move to an uninhabited far away land. When they arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts they had no idea what to expect, but they knew they wanted to move forward to a new place to have a better life.


So, as we recall the Thanksgiving dinner that the Pilgrims shared in peace with their new Native American neighbors, we recall the sacrifices made for the ideals of America. We give thanks for a place where we can live in peace and freedom without fear of persecution for what we believe.


Each one of us is grateful and thankful for different things and it could be something very simple like a dinner with family or friends. It could be something more complex such as a family member being restored to health after a long illness. It could be a loved one with health problems, in that case give thanks for the time you can share. Whatever it may be, take the time on this holiday to give thanks for it.


In my case, I am thankful for the love of family and friends, a roof over my head, and the opportunity to impact people each day through what I write. I am thankful to all my family, friends, supporters, and readers for making my dream a reality. I look forward to the stories we have yet to share together. So, from my family to yours, best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!

Writing a Ballade: A Guide for Young and New Poets

A Ballade is a very traditional and classic form of poetry which originated in France. The Ballade is lyrical by nature, and also shares this name with a form of songwriting, known as a Ballad (www.wikipedia.com).  This article will draw upon my extensive experience writing poetry and I will provide tips for young and new poets to use while beginning to write in the Ballade form of poetry.



The Ballade consists of 3 stanzas of eight to ten lines each in length, it concludes with a final stanza, called an envoy. The envoy is shorter in length, about four to five lines (http://dictionary.reference.com).



The most important aspect of this poetry form is: the last line of each stanza and the envoy has to be the same. This line serves as the refrain in the musical form of the same name. I learned of this form of poetry several years ago, when I was looking to expand the creativity of my poetry beyond some of the standard formats I had grown accustomed to working within.



Starting Out


The Ballade is a form of poetry which takes some degree of planning before you begin the process of writing. The rhyme scale is very important in this type of format because it is lyrical poetry, so the scale needs to be the same throughout each stanza.


The choice of rhyme scale is based on several factors depending upon the words you would need to use to convey the message of the poem, your comfort level with a particular rhyme scale, or it could be based upon the refrain line used in your poem.



When based on the refrain, your rhyme scale would then be worked backward into the rest of the body of the poem. I have used all three of the factors mentioned to determine rhyme scale in my years of writing poetry. It depends on what works for you, and more importantly, what works for you at the given time you are working on a particular piece.



I usually have an idea when I begin the writing process of what my refrain is going to be as well as the central message of the poem. I write most all of my poetry in rhyming scale and have developed very little free verse poetry, so I may have found this format easier in the beginning than other writers. I mention this because if you are a new writer that enjoys writing rhyming verse, this form may be easy to grasp and a fun change of pace.



I am also most comfortable writing in iamb, or iambic pentameter.  I have also written in dactyl. It depends upon your comfort level and also the words you need to use to convey the message.



The Draft


Once you have the rhyme scale, the central message and the refrain decided you can move forward into drafting the idea on paper. I usually use eight lines in each of the 3 opening stanzas, so that I have four rhyming sets in each stanza.



It is very important that you keep in mind that the last line has to be the same in each stanza, so planning out the placement of those words ahead of time is critical.



In the envoy I have used both the four line and the five line ending stanza. In the four line stanza I just make sure that my third line makes sense when the fourth line has to be the refrain line, this ensures that the rhyme scale flows correctly.



When I use the five line envoy, I have two rhyming sets take up the first four lines, and then I use the refrain line to tie it all back to the central theme of the poem. So it is really a choice you can make on an individual poem by poem basis, or you may find that you are comfortable with four lines compared to the full five lines.



Avoiding Common Mistakes


Some common mistakes using the Ballade form are:


  • Not keeping the same rhyme scale throughout the poem
  • Losing the central message by trying to fit the words within the rhyme scale
  • Forgetting the refrain at the end of each stanza
  • Not rhyming the preceding line with the refrain in the first 3 stanzas
  • Repeating the same key words at the end of lines within the body of the poem



These mistakes can be avoided by checking your work and making edits to your draft before feeling like you have a “finished product”. The rhyming scale issues can be solved by reading the poem out loud, you will pick up the consonants that are incorrect.



In order to remember the refrain, I mark the margin of my paper with a red “R” to correspond to where the refrain needs to be placed. I often will have the idea for the refrain line first, so I will write it into the draft.


In order to make sure that I rhymed the preceding line, I mark the margin of the paper with whatever letter corresponds with that line and put a dash and the letter “R”. For example, if the scale is “ABABCCDR”, then I would mark the line corresponding to “D” in the scale, as “D-R” so that the poem can flow properly.


I hope that this information will be useful for young and new poetry writers as you begin to use the Ballade form. It is a very lyrical and very unique form of poetry that can be adapted to express any number of thoughts or emotions.



TV Markets and the Expansion of Sports – Part 4

The demographics of a city or metropolitan area, their media market size, the support of the political leadership in the city and the support of the business community are important aspects in determining the expansion of a professional sports league.


In this fourth installment of this series, the focus will be on the National Hockey League (NHL) and the potential expansion opportunities for a league which is rapidly growing in popularity. The NHL has witnessed some outstanding revenue growth in recent years which enabled them to obtain a huge television and media rights deal with Comcast/NBC (www.nbcsports.com).


In 2012 and 2013, every playoff game from every series was televised nationally via the Comcast/NBC for the first time in the history of the league (www.nhl.com). The NHL has long been considered the “fourth league” of the “Big 4” professional sports in the United States, but the ratings are growing exponentially.


The 2013 Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins was a ratings record breaking series on NBC (www.nbcsports.com). This was in a year where the league had a lockout shortened season over a revenue dispute between the owners and the players union.




The NHL realigned their divisions for the 2013-14 season into two conferences with two divisions in each conference. However, unlike other sports, the conferences are unbalanced.

The Eastern Conference has two divisions of eight teams each for a total of sixteen teams. The Western Conference consists of two divisions of seven teams each for a total of fourteen teams. That brings the total number of teams to 30, but many reports have indicated that this uneven conference split was done with expansion in mind.


The most obvious expansion would be by two teams to a total of 32 and have both of those teams be added in the Western Conference to balance the league. Numerous sources close to the league have reported that the increased revenues from two additional future expansion teams via the league entry fee and the entry into two new markets was part of the discussion during the lockout negotiations (www.cbssports.com).


The other rumor circulating throughout the media is that the NHL may expand by four franchises in the near future. If those reports are true, that would mean a significant revenue infusion to the league through the expansion franchise entry fees and subsequent introduction into four new marketplaces in North America.


The TV market metrics are probably the least important in hockey than in other sports because the average person and the consensus among the casual sports fan is that hockey does not translate well to the medium of television. Now, NBC has tried to enhance the broadcasts to change some of that perception and offers some unique camera angles and outstanding production value to their hockey telecasts.


However, the NHL makes their money with the live game experience. Last season, following a protracted labor stoppage, the hockey arenas in the NHL averaged game attendance levels at 95% of capacity (www.nhl.com). The NHL live game experience is, in my opinion, the best sporting event to attend.


The NHL executives and franchise owners know that they will get their die-hard fans in the building for the games and they have proven that, in a recession or otherwise, those fans will spend money at the games. So the addition of four potential new franchises could bring in more revenue through in-game expenditures, season ticket sales, luxury suite sales, and merchandise sales.


North of the Border


It is important to note that unlike the other major sports, Canada is a legitimate expansion area for the NHL, and a likely area of future expansion. The sport of hockey is so well loved and supported in Canada, that the NHL could put a franchise basically almost anywhere in that country and it would be a successful venture.


That type of widespread and virtually assured support cannot be found in the U.S. hockey marketplace, but it is surprising how well the NHL has done in cities such as Nashville, Tampa, Dallas, San Jose, and Anaheim.


The list below will also demonstrate that the interest for an NHL franchise in some U.S. markets is very high at this point.


Potential Expansion Markets


The following cities are potential candidates for expansion franchises in the NHL (all TV markets data courtesy of www.stationindex.com – all Fortune 500 company information courtesy of www.money.cnn.com – and all Metro Population data courtesy of www.census.gov ):


  • Seattle, WA – Has emerged as a very strong candidate for expansion based on the plans to build a new arena in the downtown area. The location, and population size and demographics make it a good fit for the NHL.

TV Market Rank: 14th

Metro Area Population Rank: 15th

Fortune 500 Company HQ: 4

Synopsis/ Outlook: The Seattle bid gained traction with the league when the Phoenix Coyotes looked as if they may relocate. The NHL quickly lined up Seattle as a potential alternative site to move the franchise. They even had an ownership group lined up. The location is key for this bid because it addresses a region (Pacific Northwest) where the NHL has no current presence other than the Vancouver Canucks. The population and TV Market sizes are very good, and corporate support would be strong. The population is hockey-savvy as they have several youth hockey and minor league hockey teams in the region. The arena situation would be the murkiest part of the bid today. The team may have to play temporarily at the Key Arena, which would be very small for hockey and has a strange configuration for hockey. The new arena being planned (see Part 1 of this series) is primarily for the NBA expansion team. The hockey team is viewed as the second tenant. I do not know if they would build the arena solely for a hockey team with no assurances from the NBA on a future expansion franchise for the city. Overall a very strong bid.

  • Quebec City – The second most widely regarded bid from NHL insiders is the bid from Quebec, which of course, was home to the Nordiques until they moved to Denver in the mid 1990s. A historic city with a rabid base of hockey fans.

Synopsis/Overview – The TV markets and other data does not apply to this Canadian city. The potential for regaining an NHL franchise is of tremendous importance to this city. The Mayor and the city government in Quebec City approved a new arena without a team or the assurances of an expansion team. In a “if we build it they will come” type of move they are currently in the construction phase of the new arena which is next to the old arena where the Nordiques once played. The NHL was so impressed with the confidence of the government and the people there, that the Quebec bid is thought to be a very strong one among league insiders.

  • Houston, TX – A “dark horse” candidate but a place that has shown interest in the past. It was one of two cities (Hartford was the other) that was used as a bargaining chip by the Penguins ownership to get the new arena in Pittsburgh done.

TV Market Rank: 10th

Metro Population Rank: 5th

Fortune 500 Company HQ: 23

Synopsis/Overview: Houston has some very strong positives for a NHL expansion bid including excellent demographics and TV market rankings. The city has a rapidly growing economy and is home to a whopping 23 Fortune 500 companies – so the right ownership group and strong corporate support would not be an issue. Due to the rapid economic growth the city has a changing population with transplanted residents from across the country. The bid would pitch the fact that the changing demographics mean more hockey fans living within the city metro area. The arena is state of the art and hosts the NBA’s Rockets currently. This bid has potential, and hockey has been successful in Dallas, but the league may be resistant if they are unsure of long term fan support with all the other major sports already having a presence in that market.

  • Markham, Ontario (other Toronto area city) – Toronto is the largest hockey market in the world. It currently has one team, the Maple Leafs, and they have struggled for a long period of time to get back to relevancy.

Synopsis/Overview: Since the other metrics do not apply here in a Canadian market, I will summarize this complicated bid. The issue here is that the league office and ownership had great support behind a bid for a second team in the Toronto market. In the past two years, some of that support has waned. The reports I have read indicate now that the Markham bid, or a bid by another Toronto area city, would very likely not get approved if the league expands by two franchises. It would have a better shot of getting in during the next round of expansion by two teams. The rationale behind this is two-fold: 1. The Maple Leafs are not thrilled about sharing the market with another franchise, especially an expansion franchise that will cut into their revenues directly. 2. The front runners for expansion at this point are not two Western cities which the NHL would need to balance the two conferences. Tim Leiweke who is a top executive with AEG (owner of arenas and sports teams) did a presentation last week and during the Q & A session which followed he stated the second Toronto team may not happen at all. He stated that the meetings he was involved with have Seattle and Quebec as the two front-runners and Kansas City and Las Vegas as very strong contenders for the second round of expansion(www.yahoo.com)  This would make sense because Quebec would bring the Eastern Conference to 17 teams, and Seattle would bring the West to 15 teams, and then the potential additions of two more Western teams would balance the league at 17 teams in each conference (total of 34 teams). Markham just approved financing of $350 million for an NHL caliber arena north of Toronto (www.cbc.ca). It could be very interesting what happens here with this bid. The University of Toronto commissioned a study which was reported by the CBC that the country of Canada could easily support 12 NHL teams (they currently have 9 teams in Canada). However the concentration of wealth in Toronto is what makes that market so attractive to the NHL. It is a risk to build an arena, but Markham decided in a slim margin in their city council vote, that the risk was worth taking.

  • Las Vegas, NV – One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world would provide a very robust stage for the NHL to showcase their international star players.

TV Markets Rank: 42nd

Metro Area Population Rank: 31st

Fortune 500 Company HQ: 4

Synopsis/Overview: The Las Vegas bid is considered within many circles close to the NHL to be a very strong potential contender for a franchise. The TV market ranking is a little low (Buffalo has an NHL team and is 51st) and the TV market as I stated earlier is not looked at in hockey as crucially as it is for other sports. The population is low too, but the league has several current franchises in smaller metro areas currently. The three biggest issues with a potential Las Vegas expansion bid are: the selection of a stable ownership group, the ability of the metro area population to support a team for the long term, and the arena. The NHL offices have expressed issues with the arena situation there numerous times in the past through various media reports. The largest arena in the city, The Thomas & Mack Center, does not have an ice sheet. That means that the temporary home for the team would have to be the MGM Grand Garden Arena which seats about 16,000 for hockey which is small (www.cbssports.com). However, MGM and the before mentioned AEG group recently announced a joint partnership on a brand new 20,000 seat arena to be built between the Monte Carlo and the New York, New York Casino Hotels (www.finance.yahoo.com). Just last week, the first renderings of the new Vegas arena went public. It will immediately be able to host an NBA or NHL team. The project is slated to begin in April 2014 and be finished in 2016. This project addresses the key issue the league had with Las Vegas. The NHL has always talked about wanting to be the first professional league to tap the Vegas market, and one final note, Jerry Bruckheimer is very close with the top executives at AEG. He has openly discussed wanting to own an NHL team in Las Vegas. A very strong bid made stronger by the new arena project.

  • Kansas City, MO – An interesting bid it would open up that part of the Midwest to the NHL and create an instant rivalry with the St. Louis Blues.

TV Markets Rank: 31st

Metro Population Rank: 30th

Fortune 500 Company HQ: 2

Synopsis/ Overview: Kansas City was also included in the NBA potential expansion bids. The strength of the bid is still the arena, Sprint Center, which is world class and has no permanent tenant. The taxpayers want a team for the building since they approved tax money to build it. The political goodwill is very strong here, and the corporate base would be supportive of an NHL team, though that support could be better in other cities with less sports teams already (Kansas City has the Chiefs in the NFL, and the Royals of MLB) and the other issue that may or may not be a mitigating one (depends on what reports you read) is that the NHL was already in Kansas City (the Scouts) and it lasted only a couple of years and the team struggled to get attendance and fans, so they moved to Colorado and rebranded as the Rockies. The Rockies eventually moved to New Jersey and became known as the Devils (www.nhl.com). So much has changed economically and demographically since the time of the Scouts that I think it is an unfair comparison to hold against Kansas City at this point. This city has a solid bid and the NHL brass will have to determine if it is worthy of a team when comparing all the variables as compared to the rest of the cities on this list.


The Future


The unique aspect about the NHL part of this series on sports expansion is that the league intends to expand. The other leagues talk about expansion as an eventual thing if all goes well, other leagues like the NBA only want to expand by one or two teams to avoid splitting revenue dollars further.


The NHL is fairly aggressive in their expansion goals. They have talked at media events in the past about expanding within certain time frames. This list is a very viable list of cities that could very well be hosting an NHL team in the next three to five years.


In the event that the reports are true and Seattle and Quebec City are the front runners for the two expansion spots, that would probably create a second round of expansion because of the geography and politics involved.


The entry of Quebec into the Eastern Conference would still leave the East with more teams, so the NHL would have to add two more teams in the Western Conference to balance the league. The relocation of one of the current teams in the East being sent to the Western Conference would be highly problematic from a political point of view.

The owners of the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets fought for years to get moved into the Eastern Conference, and now that they have moved East, then the league will be reticent about moving one of them back to balance the conference sizes.


If you are a hockey fan, that is exciting news, and if you are not a hockey fan, but you are a sports fan; then it could give you something else to do while on a long weekend in Las Vegas in the future.


The final part of my series will be up next and that is the future expansion of MLS (Major League Soccer).

TV Markets and the Expansion of Sports – Part 3

The role of TV markets in the potential expansion of professional sports has been well documented in the first two parts of this series. The first part dealt with the potential expansion of the NBA, the second part dealt with the potential expansion of Major League Baseball, and this third part of the series will deal with the potential expansion of the National Football League (NFL).


The focus on the NFL is timely, since the expansion discussion was again central to the media coverage of the league recently. The NFL began playing regular season games in London calling them the “International Series” beginning in 2007 (www.nfl.com). The most recent game in London was played on October 27, with the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars.


In the media events leading up to this game in London, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke openly about the determination for the NFL to place a team in London and Los Angeles. He added that he did not care which city went through the process first, but that they are both targeted areas for the NFL to have a presence within in the future (www.cbssports.com).


The initial expansion talk for the NFL began around the Super Bowl in 2012 when the Commissioner discussed the league expanding from 32 to 34 teams. In recent months, the NFL owners committee has stated that they like the league at 32 teams and that any changes would most likely come by relocation of struggling franchises.



Current Situation

The NFL is currently made up of 32 teams split into two conferences of 16 teams each. In each conference the teams are split into four divisions of four teams each, so the schedule is perfectly balanced. The alignment makes sense and they have an excellent system for rotating the schedule for inter-conference and inter-divisional games.


The NFL is the most watched sport in the United States, and has a huge level of interest that dwarfs the other members of “The Big Four” major sports leagues. The number of people to support and watch additional NFL teams is there, so the debate will always rage on about potential expansion of this tremendously successful league.


The NFL frequently has seven or eight of the Top 10 most watched television events every year. The Super Bowl, of course, is the most watched television event on the calendar in the United States. It has set records in recent years for TV viewership, which some reports have speculated is driven by the recession in the U.S. and more people staying home to watch it in smaller groups.


Sunday Night Football on NBC is the most watched network primetime show every year. The importance of the medium of television to the NFL is very crucial for an expansion market, more so than with other sports.


Potential Expansion Markets


The potential for expansion in the NFL is a much shorter list than for the other leagues because the league has publicly stated that it does not want to expand much beyond the 32 franchises they have currently. This is also due to the fact that the owners do not want to split the revenue sharing “pie” too much further.


Here are the most likely candidates for an NFL expansion franchise:

(TV markets data courtesy of www.stationindex.com , Metro population data courtesy of www.census.gov and the Fortune 500 data courtesy of www.money.cnn.com )

  • Los Angeles, CA – The largest city and the largest TV market without an NFL team. It has been on the NFL expansion radar screen for a long time. At one point the city had two NFL teams that both left, which is why support for a replacement franchise lagged for many years.

TV Market Rank: 2nd

Metro Population Rank: 2nd

Fortune 500 Company HQ: 10 (in general area)


Synopsis/Outlook: The Los Angeles bid is a very likely expansion or relocation destination for an NFL franchise or two. The population density, the huge TV and media market, and the corporate sponsorship capabilities are definitely sufficient to support 2 teams. The plan at this point would be that those two teams would share a stadium similar to the Giants and Jets currently. The downtown stadium plan supported by AEG has lost support politically and will not happen. The City of Industry plan is still on the table and is the most likely site for a future state of the art NFL stadium. The temporary stadium would most likely be the Rose Bowl in Pasadena until the new stadium construction is completed. The most likely relocation candidates would be the Oakland Raiders (who have a major stadium issue with the Coliseum and no public dollars to fix it in Oakland), St. Louis Rams (who have an “out clause” in their lease after next season and are fighting with the city of St. Louis over a renovation plan for their current stadium), and the San Diego Chargers (they are just a couple of hours down the road and they have been working on a new stadium deal for over 15 years now). The NFL and the owners have all made statements indicating that they will be in L.A. sooner rather than later. One final note, MSG Network interviewed former basketball legend and current L.A. Dodgers part-owner, Earvin “Magic” Johnson during halftime of the NY Knicks game recently, and he publicly stated that he wanted to help bring an NFL team to Los Angeles. When high profile men with money and connections start talking about their desire to do it, we have all seen that it is only a matter of time before it gets done.


  • San Antonio, TX – The second largest city in the country by population without an NFL team. The city has a diverse group of potential fans, and the area is known for being very loyal to their other professional team, the Spurs of the NBA.

TV Markets Rank: 36th

Metro Population Rank: 25th

Fortune 500 Company HQ: 5


Synopsis/Outlook: Many reports I have read throughout the media reference sources from within the NFL that believe that San Antonio and Toronto are the only other markets outside of L.A. which could successfully support an NFL team. The issues with San Antonio and a potential bid for expansion are still numerous: the city is in the territorial rights zone for the Dallas Cowboys, the metro population is good but the suburbs are non-existent, the TV market is good but not great (though the NFL has current franchises in much smaller TV markets), and the stadium is problematic as well. In order for a bid to be successful, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would have to approve the move into his territory (he has made statements of support in the past). The right ownership group would have to emerge with enough capital to compete against the Cowboys (who are immensely popular in the entire state) and the Houston Texans (who play about a 2 hour drive away). The final piece is the stadium, they have the Alamo Dome currently, but it was built several years ago. It would need by some estimates between $100 million to $500 million in renovations to be an NFL level facility. Most people believe that for a San Antonio bid to be accepted, the Alamo Dome would be used as a temporary home while a brand new stadium would be built for the NFL team. The government willpower and support is there to undertake that project, they have a growing economy, and the corporate sponsorship for such a venture is there as well. If the right pieces fall into place, this is also a very likely future expansion location for the NFL.

  • Toronto – Intriguing potential expansion opportunity for the NFL to fully integrate into Canada.

Synopsis/Overview: The TV market and other demographic data are not applicable for this Canadian city. The potential bid does have some very strong attributes. Toronto has a very diverse population base which appeals to the NFL and their strategic interest in growing the sport internationally. The city currently hosts one regular season game each year under an agreement with the Buffalo Bills. The game in Toronto regularly plays to a sold out crowd, so the demand is there for the NFL product in Canada. The other potential avenue outside of expansion is the potential for the Buffalo Bills to relocate to Toronto. However, the City of Buffalo just committed a huge amount of money and resources to the renovation of Ralph Wilson Stadium and the Bills signed a new lease in Buffalo as well, making that relocation rather unlikely. The stadium in the short term would be the Rogers Centre (formerly the SkyDome) and then a new stadium would be built for the expansion NFL franchise. Corporate support would not be an issue, nor would the right ownership group. A solid potential bid.

  • London, United Kingdom – The London bid is gaining tremendous momentum at this point. It would bring the NFL into the global stage faster than the other major U.S. sports leagues.

Synopsis/Outlook: The situation in London is similar to Toronto, the TV markets and other demographics do not apply. The NFL has an “International Committee” which has been studying the potential for international growth of American football for years now. Some sources inside the NFL in the reports throughout the media say the committee should be named “the London Committee”. London is really the only viable option for international expansion. The corporate support, with London being a major financial and commercial hub in Europe, would be excellent for a future NFL franchise. There are fans who question why the NFL would want to put a team in London and believe that it is a bad idea. If you take away all the other positive attributes about the city, the only statistic needed for the rationale behind why the NFL wants to have a full time presence in London is: population. Some estimates have the population of London within city limits at 9.7 million, the greater metro area estimates are 13 million to 21 million people (courtesy of the Greater London Authority). The NFL is not currently in LA, so after the New York/New Jersey metro area, the next largest metro area the NFL has a franchise in is Chicago at approximately 9.5 million people (www.census.gov). The potential expansion to London would add another market with the population base of New York or Los Angeles. That offers the NFL a very unique way to expand the league into a very large marketplace. The bid would be solid as the team would have several potential ownership groups and they could play at Wembley Stadium at least initially. In fact, Fox Sports, reported over the weekend that the London based professional soccer club, Tottenham Hotspur, is proposing to build a brand new 65,000 seat stadium that could be shared with a future NFL franchise. When that sort of project is being proposed it validates that the NFL and the city of London have had several behind the scenes meetings about the expansion possibilities there. The relocation route could be another potential avenue into London, with the Jacksonville Jaguars being the most likely franchise for relocation there, according to several media reports. The owner of the Jaguars, Mr. Khan, has ties to London and the Jaguars have the lowest merchandise sales in the NFL. They also currently play in the league’s smallest market, Jacksonville, and they have committed to playing 3 games in London over the next 3 years.


Final observations



The NFL is the most popular professional league in the United States, and it is poised to expand into a few of the remaining markets left that they have not tapped. In my opinion, I think the NFL needs to be in Los Angeles, the game translates so well to the medium of television and it makes no sense to not have a franchise in the second largest TV market in the country.


Furthermore, I think the league would do very well with a team in San Antonio, but I do not think it will happen for a long time. The Toronto move is less likely now that the Bills are staying in Western New York, and the London move is complicated. On the surface, I understand why they want to make the move over to London, but logistically that would be a major headache for the NFL.


Every U.S. based team that played over there would have to have a bye week the following week, and the London based team would have to fly over here and spend three to four weeks straight on the road in various regions of the U.S. (Northeast, Midwest, etc.).


An additional consideration is the conversion rate of the currency, if the contracts for the players are in U.S. dollars, and they are living during the season in London and using the Euro, that is going to be a problem. London is also one of the most expensive cities to live in, so most of the players would opt to leave their families back in the U.S., which I think will definitely impact how the team in London would be able to attract top players to sign to play over there.


So each expansion possibility has unique issues here, even the L.A. bid, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the NFL. The next part of this series will focus on the National Hockey League (NHL) and the potential for that league to expand, which is very realistic in the near future.



New York Red Bulls: The End of the Run

The New York Red Bulls marketing department had, in my opinion, a very catchy slogan for the team and their MLS Playoff campaign called: “Run With Us”. The team marketed this slogan on billboards, on their internet advertising, on their website, print materials, and on social media. The use of the hash tag on Twitter was prevalent in the days leading up to the playoffs.


Well, last night the “Run” for the Red Bulls ended as did the marketing campaign and, most importantly the Red Bulls aspirations of advancing in the playoffs. New York lost to the Houston Dynamo in the 2 game Eastern Conference Semifinals Series by an aggregate score of 4-3.


I was there in the stands at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey and I could not believe that the magical season for the Red Bulls ended last night.


Opportunities Lost


The Red Bulls had numerous opportunities in this game to put away the Dynamo and they fell short. New York controlled the entire game, outplaying Houston in every facet. They took a lead early in the game on a cross by Lloyd Sam which the Houston goalkeeper, Tally Hall, mishandled and fumbled to the feet of New York forward Bradley Wright-Phillips, who promptly kicked it into the net for a goal.


The crowd at Red Bull Arena exploded following the goal, the feeling in the stadium was that this game would be the end to the Red Bulls streak of consecutive losses in a row at home in the playoffs which stood at 6 games going into the game last night (www.mlssoccer.com).

Then, about ten minutes later, New York defender Ibrahim Sekagya made an ill-advised and errant pass inside his own penalty area which was intercepted by Houston team captain Brad Davis. Davis drilled a close range shot past Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles, and the game, as well as the series, was now tied.


New York had numerous attempts to recapture the lead in the game and reverse the tide of the series and could not capitalize on them. Tim Cahill deflected Thierry Henry’s initial shot but Hall made the save for Houston. The fans in my section could not believe that they missed a goal in that sequence.


In the 65th minute, Henry had a header go off the crossbar and miss scoring, and he had an incredible bicycle kick in overtime which was steered away wide of the goal by a diving Tally Hall. In total, the Red Bulls had 23 scoring attempts to Houston totaling just 9 (www.mlssoccer.com).


New York had 9 shots on target and Houston had 3. New York outshot Houston 19 to 7, and had 42 crossing passes to Houston totaling just 13 (www.mlssoccer.com).


Observations from the Stands


In my view from the stands I observed several aspects of this game that stood out to me, and having watched this Red Bulls team compete all season over nine months I have come to know them very well.


The officiating of this match was terribly inconsistent, and calls were made on both sides that were questionable. The New York fans were irate at certain points of the match as well over some dubious calls by the referee. Overall, there were too many fouls called, a total of 36, which completely disrupted the flow of the game.


The inconsistency also was present in numerous challenges and tackles for possession of the ball which looked like a foul had taken place and no foul would be called; only to have a subsequent play which looked innocuous and a foul would be issued at that point.


The Red Bulls looked tentative during most of this game, Head Coach Mike Petke made comments after the game that his players rushed their passes and crosses at times (www.mlssoccer.com). I would agree with that assessment, the crosses from where I was sitting looked as though the timing was disrupted on them.


I expected the Red Bulls to come out flying after Houston tied the score and they did not, they did not go full throttle after some balls I thought they could have made plays on, I did not understand their hesitation. New York knew that the Dynamo would leave three to four players back on defense to avoid losing the game since they were the road team, and that is the strategy most road teams would employ in that situation.


Therefore, in order for the Red Bulls to generate scoring chances they would have to bring forward several players to get a numbers advantage on the Dynamo, I do not think they did that enough in the later minutes of this game.


The red card suspension of Jamison Olave from the first game of the series on Sunday loomed over the game last night, I could not help but wonder if we would have had a different result with his presence in the lineup. The Red Bulls did play well on defense though overall, they just made a few mistakes at critical junctures.


From my vantage point in the stadium I did not get a very good view of the deciding goal scored in overtime by Omar Cummings. I actually thought that it was saved by Robles until I saw the Dynamo players celebrating in a group. I was still hopeful at that point that the Red Bulls could score a goal before the end of overtime, they had some chances, but in the end it was not their night.


Moving Forward


I exited the Red Bull Arena last night surrounded by fellow Red Bulls fans, and it was very quiet. Most of us, myself included, were in shock that the season was now over.


Many questions remain unanswered about this team. Some of those questions will be answered in the offseason which begins now for New York. Will this same roster of players return next season? Will the front office make some changes to the role players? Will they add a star player via trade or outside acquisition?


So many questions, and the weeks ahead will provide the answers. Some members of the media today have questioned whether the Red Bulls season should be looked at as a breakthrough or a disappointment? (www.nydailynews.com)  I am not sure I know the answer to that question yet either.


Other reporters have pointed out that the elimination of the Red Bulls cost MLS the opportunity to have their championship game played in the New York area. That is a valid point, the game being played in New York would have brought enhanced media attention to the MLS Cup.


Last night as I exited the stadium into the dark night, fans were throwing the promotional cards that read: “Run With Us” on the sidewalk. The brisk autumn wind kicked up and scattered those cards in the air like leaves. I watched them flutter through the air, filled with disappointment, when I realized that this team had turned a corner.


I began to think about all of their dramatic victories this season and realized that there will be more of those games and performances to come. I look forward now to next season when myself and my fellow loyal Red Bulls fans will begin another “run” with this team that we all are so passionate about.





New York Red Bulls: A Must Win Playoff Tonight


The New York Red Bulls enter very treacherous waters tonight in the second leg of their Eastern Conference MLS Playoff series with the Houston Dynamo. The Dynamo, by virtue of their two unanswered goals on Sunday in the first leg of the series, have made this a winner moves on, and the loser goes home match here in the second meeting (www.mlssoccer.com).


The Dynamo are no strangers to playoff pressure, as they have advanced to the MLS Cup Final the past two seasons in a row (both times as a wild card team) only to lose both championship games to the L.A. Galaxy (www.mlssoccer.com).


Conversely, the Red Bulls have been known more for their playoff shortcomings than anything else in their history. The late season lapses for this team have been notable in recent years. The franchise approached this season with a revamped roster and a new head coach, Mike Petke, on a mission to change that playoff losing trend.


Supporters Shield


The Red Bulls won the Supporters Shield for the first time in their 18 year history this season meaning that they had the best record in the 34 game regular season across all of Major League Soccer.


The trophy and the best overall record provide the Red Bulls with home field advantage throughout the MLS Cup Playoffs, including in the championship game should they advance that far. That advantage will be critical tonight as New York will play in front of their loyal and loud supporters at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.


The Red Bulls are a much better team at home in their own building than they are on the road, that is why the fact that the team squandered a 2-0 lead on the road in Houston last Sunday will loom like a large swath of dark clouds over this game tonight.


Tonight’s Second Leg Match


The match tonight will be the biggest one the Red Bulls will have played in a very long time. If they do not win, they will be eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs then the media and the fan base will ridicule this team for throwing away the magical regular season, which earned them the critical home field advantage in the playoffs.


New York will be without their best defensive player, Jamison Olave, who was ejected by a straight red card in the first leg of this series on Sunday following a tackle along the sideline. The announcers on NBC both felt the referee was wrong to issue a straight red card instead of a cautionary yellow card. The loss of Olave forced the Red Bulls to play short a man for the rest of the match and, more importantly, the suspension will cost them Olave’s exceptional defensive presence tonight in the second leg.


Entering the playoffs I was the most nervous about the Red Bulls having to face the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference playoff draw because of their past experience and very strong team chemistry. They also have an outstanding coaching staff which will have this team well prepared to play tonight against New York.


Houston Dynamo – Key Players:  (all stats courtesy of www.houstondynamo.com)

Will Bruin (Forward) – 8 goals, 7 Assists

Ricardo Clark (midfield) – 4 goals

Kofi Sarkodie (defender) – 7 yellow cards

Brad Davis     (midfield) – 4 goals, 9 assists

Tally Hall       (goalkeeper) – 95 saves


The Dynamo got a huge goal from Ricardo Clark in the first leg match on Sunday, and will rely on him to move the ball through the midfield into the open space created by their playmakers up front. His ability to get the ball to Will Bruin in particular is going to be something that the Red Bulls will need to prepare for in this game.


The other aspect worth watching is if the Red Bulls can bait Kofi Sarkodie into losing his temper and picking up a card in this match. If they can get an early yellow card on him, then he will be forced to tone down his aggressive defensive style. Then, the Red Bulls can make attacking runs into their defensive area targeting Sarkodie because he will have to choose between backing down or getting ejected from the game.


One final note on the Dynamo, is Brad Davis, if you are going to watch the game at home tonight (MSG Network 8 PM) and you have not seen Davis play, he is a truly exciting and electric talent. He is the Captain of the Dynamo, and he is also on the U.S. National Team, he has a wonderful well rounded game. He is particularly dangerous in the attacking third of the field, and the Red Bulls have to mark him very aggressively on defense in this match.


Key Players – New York Red Bulls: (all stats courtesy of www.newyorkredbulls.com)


Thierry Henry – (Forward) – 10 goals, 9 assists

Tim Cahill (Fwd/Midfield) – 11 goals, 5 assists

Jonny Steele (Midlfield) – 5 goals, 6 assists

Luis Robles (Goalkeeper) – 103 saves

Markus Holgersson (defender) – needs to play huge in absence of Olave


Cahill continued his clutch play this season by scoring a goal in the first leg of this series. His ability to get past the Dynamo defensive group is going to be crucial tonight.


I think Henry was conserving energy late in the first leg game to have a huge performance tonight. His height is a problem for the Dynamo, and I think New York should exploit that by having other players take the corner kicks to allow Henry to get a head on the ball inside the penalty area.


Jonny Steele has played very well and I think his passing and ability to take the wing on overlapping runs with other players is going to be a very important aspect of the Red Bulls offensive strategy tonight.




The Red Bulls have never lost at home to Houston (www.mlssoccer.com). I think that New York will find a way to win this game behind their passionate fans. The loss of Olave is key, but the team will rely on other guys to step up and fill the void.


The Red Bulls had a lot of success moving the ball into their attacking third by countering the moves made by Houston to advance the ball. I think that New York can capitalize on those counter-attacks and get the ball to Henry, Cahill, or Steele to make plays in open space.


This is it for the Red Bulls, the stakes could not be any higher. A win tonight will move them closer to their goal of winning the MLS Cup on their home field. A loss will bring back all the old ghosts which have haunted this franchise in the past. I predict a Red Bulls win 2-1 in a nail biter with the home field and home crowd being the deciding factor.


TV Markets and the Expansion of Sports – Part 2

The expansion of professional sports is tied to a few very important factors, and one of them is the size of the television market that city is within, other factors are tied to population and corporate support. The first part of this series introduced those factors and the role of revenue sharing in league expansion. It then went on to look at the NBA potential expansion sites.


In this second part of the series, I will look at Major League Baseball (MLB) and the potential expansion of this top-tier sports league. I have read and researched these potential bids for years, and I have a great deal of knowledge on the subject.




Major League Baseball (MLB) consists of 30 member teams split into two leagues. Each league has 15 member teams split into three divisions. Each division consists of five teams. The league recently made the change to two equal leagues after years of the National League consisting of 16 teams.


One theory for this shift to two even leagues is that it was done to expand the league by anywhere between 2 and 4 teams. The MLB is largely recognized as the second most popular sport in TV ratings, revenues, and media coverage next to the NFL, so the league executives and owners are always looking at ways to grow revenues.


Some analysts and experts covering MLB believe that for the league to expand it would have to do it by four teams. Meanwhile, others believe that expansion by two teams is enough, and that any further expansion would further dilute the talent pool of players. This dilution of the talent pool would ultimately damage the integrity of the sport.


The MLB owners do have a system in place of revenue sharing, and if certain teams do not meet certain benchmarks, then they are entitled to additional revenue sharing funds. The owners, particularly those who own the larger market teams, will be very reluctant to share revenues with smaller market expansion franchises that will struggle initially to put a decent team on the field.


The impetus for expansion though, is that the current owners could probably obtain record amounts of money in entry fees for each expansion team, and the entry into new markets will grow the media revenue streams as well.


One final note on the background for the MLB to keep in mind is that, similar to the NBA, they have a couple of teams that are struggling which could be relocation candidates. This could impact the expansion process as well because if a current franchise is relocated, then that ownership group does not have to pay an expansion entry fee, which is lost revenue for the league. Moreover, the relocation of one or both franchises to another city could eliminate a very viable market for future expansion.


Relocation for the A’s and Rays?


The two teams that are involved in potential relocation discussions at this point are:

  • Oakland A’s
  • Tampa Bay Rays



The situation in Oakland is a very long and convoluted story, but basically it boils down to this: the A’s play in a very old stadium (the Coliseum) and they would like to move to San Jose. The city of San Jose has a stadium site set aside and ready to be sold to the A’s ownership group. MLB has stated that the A’s cannot move to San Jose because it is within the territory belonging to the San Francisco Giants. The Giants have been unwilling to negotiate a deal with the A’s to allow them to move to San Jose (www.mlb.com).


Recently, San Jose filed a law suit against MLB saying that they have delayed making a decision on the A’s relocation. The delays by MLB have hurt the city of San Jose because they have set aside land that they cannot sell, and they are not collecting any tax revenue on the vacant land (www.cbssports.com).  This issue has been lingering since 2009.


The most recent development with the A’s is that their lease has now expired with the Coliseum and, according to several reports, the team wants a 2 year lease extension (www.cbssports.com). The Oakland Stadium Authority wants the team to sign a 5 year lease. The A’s obviously do not want to play there for another 5 years in a stadium that has a lot of current issues.


The MLB main offices have interjected and said that if the A’s do not get a 2 year lease in Oakland, then they will play their home games in 2014 in San Francisco and share AT&T Park with the Giants (www.cbssports.com). The situation is a mess, and MLB has to determine a way forward with the A’s very quickly whether it is San Jose or elsewhere as the future home of that franchise.



The Tampa Bay Rays have a stadium and attendance issue as well. The current stadium, Tropicana Field, is in St. Petersburg and some fans complain about the location and distance from downtown Tampa to get to the ballpark. The Rays are locked into a lease there until 2027, and the Mayor of St. Petersburg will not allow the team to even discuss other stadium sites outside of the city limits.


The Rays ownership maintains that they need a new stadium to gain increased revenues so that they can stay competitive with other teams. Others believe, myself included, that the stadium is fine and that the real issue is that the current ownership group does not have the money to compete and that they hoard the revenue sharing money they get from the league. The struggling economy is the other issue effecting attendance in that market. The ownership should sell to a new group that has the money to keep the team competitive.



Expansion Possibilities


The following cities have the potential to be expansion locations for MLB in the future: (all TV Markets data courtesy of www.stationindex.com all Fortune 500 corporate info courtesy of www.money.cnn.com and all metro area population info courtesy of www.census.gov )


  • Sacramento, CA – location in Northern California is an asset that could be used by MLB and the A’s to relocate the A’s or expand the league.

TV Market Rank: 20

Metro Area Population: 27

Fortune 500 Companies: 0 (several large companies in area)


Synopsis/Outlook: Sacramento has several positives for an expansion bid including a very good TV market ranking, strong metropolitan population ranking, and demographically it is a very diverse city. Baseball has fans across the spectrum of ethnic groups so that is a big positive. It could be a solution to the before mentioned A’s situation as it is a 90 minute drive from the Bay Area. The city has only one major professional team, the Kings of the NBA, so the corporate sponsorship dollars would not be spread among multiple major teams. The stadium situation would entail renovating and expanding a very nice facility they currently have for their AAA team, Raley Field, which was constructed in 2000.

  • Portland, OR – A good strategic location in the Northwest, and a previous contender for MLB expansion, but the bid could have some issues.

TV Market Rank: 22

Metro Population Rank: 24

Fortune 500 Companies: 2


Synopsis/Outlook: Portland has been in the running for an MLB expansion/relocated team in the past, most recently losing out to Washington, D.C. when MLB relocated the Montreal Expos. After they lost that bid, the city decided to not fight the relocation of their current minor league baseball team which moved to Arizona. The city government then converted the baseball stadium to a soccer specific stadium in an ultimately successful bid to land a Major League Soccer franchise (the Timbers began play in 2009). The city has one other pro team, the NBA’s Trailblazers, and the fan support is very good. They would have a regional rival with Seattle, though the two cities are further apart than most people think: they are the approximate distance between New York City and Baltimore. The question would be whether the population base can support another team over the long term, the corporate sponsorships are more limited than in other cities, and the biggest issue with the bid is a stadium. Now that the other stadium was converted for soccer, a new stadium for baseball would need to be built. The climate there has several days of rain in the MLB part of the calendar, so a retractable roof could be a needed element for a winning expansion bid which is very expensive. I do not believe the political or public will is there to approve money for use in a stadium construction project. Unless that issue is resolved, Portland is an unlikely choice for an expansion team.

  • Nashville, TN – An interesting contender in a city that is experiencing growth and is located in an area where MLB has a limited presence.

TV Markets Rank: 29

Metro Population Rank: 36

Fortune 500 Companies: 3 (along with numerous large corporations)


Synopsis/Outlook: Nashville is experiencing tremendous growth and would be an intriguing bid for an MLB expansion franchise. The issues here though are the population rank is still a bit low when compared to other cities, and the stadium is a big problem. The AAA team in Nashville plays in a very old stadium, so a new facility would definitely need to be built for an MLB team to play there. It is unclear whether the state and county government would support a stadium referendum, and whether the public would divert tax dollars to that endeavor. Due to the high tourism there for music, they could use the model of Atlanta and other cities and approve new tourism and hotel room taxes to cover the outlay of the public contribution to finance a new stadium. They do have several sites under consideration for a new AAA facility at this time, land is not an issue. The city supports two major sports teams at this point (NFL’s Titans and NHL’s Predators) and the corporate sponsorship support should definitely be robust. They would have regional rivals with Atlanta and Cincinnati if they were in the National League. It is an interesting potential bid but much of it would depend on the viability of the stadium being constructed and if MLB feels the population could support the team over the long haul. Ownership groups could be an issue here as well.

  • Charlotte, NC – This is also a very interesting potential site for MLB, it fills a void in their current franchise makeup between the D.C. area and Atlanta in a growth region in the Southeast.

TV Market Rank: 25

Metro Population Rank: 23

Fortune 500 Companies: 11 (plus numerous Fortune 1000 companies)


Synopsis/Outlook: Charlotte is an excellent potential contender for MLB expansion. The city is in the Top 20 fastest growing metro areas in the U.S. and it is the second largest financial center (next to New York) in the country. The population demographics, the TV market in the top 25, and the immense corporate sponsorship support potential are very attractive attributes for a Charlotte bid. The city is just finishing construction of a brand new baseball stadium for the AAA Charlotte Knights which will open in April 2014 (www.charlotteknightsuptown.com). The city supports two major sports teams and could definitely support a third team. The stadium would need to be expanded and renovated to MLB standards but the political support would be there and corporate support as well. I see it as a great fit for an American League expansion city with so many transplanted people from the Northeast living in Charlotte. A berth in the AL East would bring the Yankees and Red Sox in regularly which would create tremendous attendance nights for an expansion team, similar to the effect it had initially with the Tampa Bay Rays drawing very well on nights where those teams visited.

  • Montreal – The MLB bid to potentially return to this city in Canada is interesting.

Synopsis/ Outlook: The other market data is not applicable in Canada so I will summarize this bid quickly because it is an outside choice, but it has been discussed within MLB as some media outlets have reported. The strong points for a Montreal bid are: population size in line with Portland and Charlotte, a built in fan base with the former Expos fans, a history to jump start the “new” Expos franchise, and strong corporate support potential. The downsides are the media rights deal locally would be smaller than a U.S. based expansion team, the right ownership group might be an obstacle, and the stadium: Olympic Stadium was constantly being renovated when the Expos played there. It will be next to impossible to get funding for a new stadium but it may be cheaper than overhauling Olympic Stadium to get it to current MLB standards. The other sign that MLB is testing the waters in Montreal: the Toronto Blue Jays are going to play exhibition games there in 2014 at Olympic Stadium (www.mlb.com).

  • Hartford, CT – Intriguing location between New York City and Boston but too many issues to be a real contender.

TV Market Rank: 30

Metro Population Rank: 46

Fortune 500 Companies: 4


Synopsis/Outlook: Hartford has been mentioned in other sources I researched as a potential candidate for MLB because of the location and TV market size. The city is the insurance capital of the U.S. and corporate support would be robust since this MLB team would be the lone major league team in the city. The population demographics are small by MLB standards but the fans would be baseball savvy due to the Northeast region being very strong in that regard. The city has no stadium for baseball and would have to build one which would be difficult in the economic climate today, plus the right ownership group is problematic. This bid is a long shot.

  • San Antonio – A city that has been mentioned often as a relocation potential location when the Marlins had stadium issues. A growth area both economically and demographically.

TV Market Rank: 37

Metro Population Rank: 25

Fortune 500 Companies: 5


Synopsis/Outlook: San Antonio is the second largest city in the country without another major sports team, and is the largest city in the country without an AAA or MLB team (www.census.gov). However, the biggest issue they have they have is the small population of their metro area. San Antonio has almost no suburbs, so the population is packed within the city limits. The TV market rank is not great either, and they have one major sports team (NBA’s Spurs) which receive excellent fan support, but it is well known that when the Spurs play on national telecasts that the ratings suffer. The economic growth and the corporate support would be strong points for a bid, they would have no issue getting an ownership group together. The government support is excellent as they were very willing to put up funding for a new stadium, which would be absolutely critical, since the baseball stadium for the AA Missions is not suitable even as a temporary home. San Antonio served as the “stalking horse” by the Marlins to get a new stadium built in Miami. One last interesting note, the Texas Rangers played two exhibition games at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio in 2013 (www.espn.com). The dimensions were strange because the dome was built for football, but it could prove to be a useful experiment should the dome have to serve as a temporary home for an expansion team.

  • New Jersey – A very interesting potential target for MLB. It is a longshot but it is potentially plausible given the right ownership group.

TV Market Rank: 1

Metro Population Rank: 1

Fortune 500 Companies: 21


Synopsis/ Outlook: The New Jersey bid is a stretch because of the anti-trust exemptions which place it within the territory of the Yankees and Mets. However, an exception to that rule was worked out when the Nationals moved to D.C. which was within the Baltimore Orioles territory. MLB did a study in the year 2000 which concluded that New Jersey was the top expansion location because of the population, the TV markets, the revenue from cable television to broadcast games, and the population size. The government would be very willing to partner on building a stadium in Northern New Jersey, and the right ownership group would be needed to pay an extra fee to the Yankees and Mets for territorial rights infringement up to estimates of $100 million. That would be on top of the expansion entry fee, but the cable networks could pay a huge sum of money to televise games for a third team in the New York metro area.


The next article in this series will be much shorter in length as it will cover the expansion potential of the NFL, which does not have many viable avenues for expansion.