In case you were living in a hole or just wanted to boycott the NFL, the Oakland Raiders will be leaving Oakland for Las Vegas in 2020, likely ending relocation for the NFL for a while.
But there are still plenty of other teams and leagues that face uncertainty with their future. What cities, with Oakland now off the board, are most likely to lose their team in the future?
MLB: Tampa Bay Rays
MLB had a couple of strong options in Oakland, Tampa, and maybe soon Arizona. But I think the Raiders leaving Oakland helps the A’s because they can not focus on improving that stadium for its only remaining tenant. I picked Tampa because they have the worst stadium in the league, it’s in a down, and attendance issues have constantly plagued the team. The problem with MLB, like the NFL, is there really aren’t any slam dunk cities where they could move to an be an instant success. Some options might be Nashville, San Antonio, Portland or Montreal.
NHL: Arizona Coyotes
The NHL has tried and tried to make hockey work in Arizona, but it just hasn’t The stadium issue has always been a problem, which has prohibited the team financially, and that translates on the ice where they have never been consistently good while in Arizona. Every year it seems like a new batch of relocation rumors pop up, and it seems like a matter of if, not when this team will move. There are actually a lot of strong NHL-ready markets that could take the team tomorrow, including Seattle, Portland, Kansas City and Quebec City.
NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars
Really, the only NFL team that could move now that the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders have all announced they’re heading for greener (re: Money) pastures. Jacksonville did really well early on in the franchise’s history, but hasn’t been good for a very long time, plays in a small TV market, and has struggled to bring fans to the stadium throughout the losing. They have been rumored to maybe be the team that moves to London, but the problem with moving domestically is there aren’t many great cities that are open to the NFL right now. Maybe Mexico City? San Antonio? This seems unlikely to happen.
NBA: Phoenix Suns
Honestly, the NBA was the hardest one to find a team for, because most teams either have no arenas, are getting new arenas, or are so fully entrenched in their city that there’s no way they could leave. The Suns are a bit like the Jaguars. Had strong success early in the franchise’s run, but haven’t been great lately. Their arena is approaching 30 year old and they’ve made it clear they want a new one. If more towns act like Oakland and say no to publicly paying for a stadium, this could open the door for a move. Places like Seattle, Kansas City, and maybe Virginia Beach could be open to a team.