State your case:
Could the state of Utah support an NFL franchise if it was given the opportunity?
Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 23:02
If you build it, they won’t come.
It’s no secret that the state of Utah all-but shuts down on Sundays. Guess what day the NFL plays on?
It isn’t practical to expect to fill an entire NFL stadium in Utah. The team with the lowest average attendance last year was Oakland, and they still drew over 50,000 people. Does anyone really think 50,000 people will come out eight Sundays a year? I don’t. I haven’t even seen 50 people at a movie theater on a Sunday in all of my years living here. I don’t think anyone wants to be compared to the Raiders for anything.
Also, where would they put a team? There is no facility that could house an NFL team in Utah, and they had to go 30 miles away from downtown Salt Lake City to build an MLS stadium. I guess they could put it out in Magna, but then nobody would be able to drink the water.
Where would the money come from? If the money came from the government, then it would cause an uproar. The government already doesn’t spend money on important things like education. The Miller family could pay for and potentially own it, but that would just be a risky investment, especially with its current ownership of most other professional sporting activities in the state.
Salt Lake City joins the likes of Portland and Sacramento on the list of great sports cities with only one major sports team, but it’s no secret that football is already a big deal throughout the state, so why not put a professional team in Salt Lake?
Small markets are by no means unprecedented in the NFL — Kansas City and Indianapolis would be roughly comparable to a team in the beehive state, and Salt Lake would have a leg up on other small markets in gathering loyal fans.
A pro football franchise in Salt Lake would feed off of Utah’s well-established reputation as the home of numerous major corporations and one of the nation’s best cities for business. Ownership, sponsorships and deals with a newly built arena wouldn’t be much of a struggle for a newly fashioned Utah football team.
While sports markets like New Orleans and Detroit both enjoy rich history and a city-wide love of sports, they still routinely underperform when it comes to overall revenue due to the cities’ economic issues. The median income of Salt Lake City’s metro area is an incredible $48,000, which could easily translate to a fanbase more willing to purchase tickets and merchandise than that of those smaller struggling markets.
SLC may not be first in line for an NFL team, but the money and the fans are certainly there.