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There now follows a ranking of the sixteen teams that need to be added to professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.
Note: Not included are the teams that were members of Women’s Professional Soccer. That entire league needs to be readded.
- Seattle NBA: Given the disastrously acrimonious circumstances under which the Supersonics abandoned Seattle, the NBA’s highest priority should be returning to that city.
- St Louis MLS: The one city in the US that should be in MLS is not. St Louis was long the unofficial home of the US men’s side; in fact, many players on the US squad in the postwar era, including the squad that went to Brazil for the 1950 Men’s World Cup, lived in that area.
- Montréal MLB: The Expos are gone but not forgotten: the Canadiens have adopted longtime mascot Youppi!, and their Bell Centre features a banner honouring the Expos and the numbers they retired.
- Rochester MLS: MLS could do much worse than to include the Rhinos, the only lower division club that has won the US Open Cup since MLS’s founding.
- Seattle NHL: The Seattle Metropolitans won the Stanley Cup in 1917, the first time it had been taken south of the border. However, the NHL has never had a club in Seattle. A proposed arena near the city’s current sports venues could host an NHL club.
- Orlando MLS: MLS commissioner Don Garber has already had meetings with civic leaders in Orlando, and according to reports, existing USL Pro club Orlando City SC is developing a plan for a new stadium.
- Vancouver NBA: Vancouver has been without an NBA club since the days of Stromile Swift.
- Québec NHL: About fifteen years ago, the NHL introduced a revenue sharing system that helped its Canadian clubs remain in the league. But that was too late for the Nordiques, who moved to Colorado and immediately won the Stanley Cup.
- Minnesota MLS: The Minnesota state law passed earlier this year that authorises the Vikings’ planned new stadium also gives the Vikings the rights to pursue an MLS club. And as Major League Soccer for Minnesota points out, “We are humble people with a simple dream. We want David Beckham to run around our stadium on a cold, spring night in Minnesota, so that we can make him cry like a child with a bizarre Hollywood name. Is that too much to ask?” No, it is not.
- Hartford NHL: The Whalers were a small market team with significant local support, which is normally what the NHL is all about.
- Anchorage MLB: Baseball under the midnight Sun! Yay!
- San Diego MLS: San Diego has repeatedly been identified as a possible home for Chivas USA, but nothing has come of that yet. Presumably that is due to the city’s desire to stay classy.
- Atlanta MLS: Falcons owner Arthur Blank has previously bid for an MLS expansion club, and his proposed replacement for the Georgia Dome could be such a team’s home. This is the largest metropolitan area in the US and Canada that has never been part of MLS.
- St Louis NBA: If the Hawks hope to win another championship, they should return to the location where they won their first one.
- Los Angeles NFL: Earlier this year, the Los Angeles City Council approved a planned downtown stadium that could host an NFL club. However, Los Angeles is getting along just fine without the NFL, thanks for asking.
- London NBA: David Stern has frequently mentioned potential NBA expansion into Europe, but it will not occur any time in the near future.
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