All that may change in the coming years as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell visited San Antonio yesterday and talked about the hope of bringing a football team to the Alamo.
"There's no question the growth is extraordinary here," Goodell said. "You see it as soon as you come into the city ... The vision the leaders have here to grow this community has been very positive. I think that will provide new opportunities.''San Antonio is no stranger to the NFL. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Saints played three home games in the southern Texas town to completely sold out crowds. Also, when the NFL expanded in 1992, San Antonio was in the early running but was left off the list. Now, as it continues to grow like zits on a pre-teen, the idea of bringing the most popular sport in America to the city is becoming more and more hopeful.
"(Goodell) been here before, but he never had a real nice tour like he had today," said Saints owner and University of the Incarnate Word booster Tom Benson, who has strong business and personal ties to San Antonio. "If expansion came, San Antonio would certainly be in the cards. I feel very strongly about that. This guy is very open-minded."Honestly, this is a no-brainer, right? If you've ever been to San Antonio during basketball season, you know one thing -- these people love their Spurs. It is a town that hangs it's hat on that basketball team and roots for them through thick and thin. While the NFL isn't yet established in San Antonio, March Madness and bowl games tend to flock south because of the facilities, atmosphere and consistent weather.
"Although he made it clear expansion right now is not a priority, we at least know we are on his radar screen," Charlie Amato, a Spurs shareholder and a member of the chamber's NFL Task Force said.The only concern is what this would mean to other NFL teams in Texas. Obviously cash collector Jerry Jones wouldn't be totally thrilled giving up a portion of his fan-base to an expansion team and the Houston Texans are still cementing their team in the Lone Star State.
My only request is this -- when naming the new team, can we avoid any cheesy Texas name? I mean, Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers, Spurs and Texans are tough enough, maybe go a little off the board and pick something crazy. What about the the San Antonio Schlittterbahns? It's a win-win.
Goodell also dismissed the notion that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Houston Texans owner Bob McNair would block any attempt to grant Texas a third team.
"I don't think they would," Goodell said. "I think they recognize the great passion of the fans here."