What are the top 10 highest-ranked Nielsen Designated Market Area (DMA) television markets that haven’t had an outdoor alternative professional football team in the “modern era” (for this purpose, defined as 1974-current)?
It is a quite surprising list, when one looks at some of the very big markets at the top:
5th - Dallas-Fort Worth. This top-five market never had a team in the World Football League (1974-75), United States Football League (1983-85), World League of American Football/NFL Europe (1991-92, 1995-2007), XFL (2001) or the United Football League (2009-12). Dallas did, however, have a “team” in the original incarnation of the WLAF, but it was an 11th team/taxi squad for the other 10 teams to pick players from, and “Team Dallas” never played a game.
9th – Atlanta. Another major market without an outdoor alternative professional football team in the last 40 years, Atlanta loves its football, but it hasn’t had the chance to love another pro team other than the National Football League’s Falcons in that time.
12th – Seattle. The Emerald City has had its Seahawks since 1976, but no other team in the five preeminent outdoor alternative leagues in the last four decades.
15th – Minneapolis-St. Paul. The Twin Cities have seen the “Purple People Eaters,” Cris Carter, Randy Moss and Adrian Peterson come through as Vikings, but not another team in any of the other aforementioned leagues.
16th – Miami. While Miami hasn’t had a team in the WFL, USFL, WLAF/NFLE, XFL or UFL, it almost did. Had the USFL not moved to the fall of 1986, it would have had a team in the spring of 1985. The Washington Federals were planning to move to Miami, but with the move to the fall, the Feds moved to Orlando. Miami also nearly had a Canadian Football League team, but that fell through with the rest of the CFL’s American experiment.
18th – Cleveland. The Browns have been a part of the NFL, then on Art Modell-imposed hiatus, then back again, but the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame hasn’t seen any other outdoor pro football teams in the last 40 years.
21st – St. Louis. While the Gateway to the West has had two NFL teams since 1974, the Cardinals and the Rams, it hasn’t had a team in any of the big outdoor alternative professional football leagues.
26th – Indianapolis. Indy didn’t even have an NFL team until the Colts moved there in 1984, and it didn’t had any team in the WFL, USFL, WLAF/NFLE, XFL or UFL.
28th – San Diego. The NFL’s Chargers have been a mainstay over the years, but they have been San Diego’s lone tenant in outdoor pro football over the years. The USFL flirted with San Diego twice, but those proposed teams ended up in other cities both times.
29th – Nashville. Nashville got the ex-Oilers not too long ago, but they were without an outdoor pro football team until then. Nashville rounding out this list means 10 of the top 29 media markets haven’t had an outdoor alternative professional football team in the last 40 years.