Will Alaska or Hawaii ever get an NFL or MLB team?

If not, why not? Has a city in either state ever tried to get an expansion team for NFL or MLB?

Highly unlikely. You need a metro population of at least a million to satisfy the most minimum population to support a team or have the television audience for one.

Honolulu doesn’t, and ranks 54th in metro population. The smallest NFL city is New Orleans at 51, a special case since it was about 40th pre-Katrina. Buffalo, the true smallest, is 46 and has a quarter million more than Honolulu. Its tiny size is killing it. Most locals expect the team to move to Toronto in a few years. The smallest MLB city is Milwaukee at 38.

Even if Honolulu were higher the costs of travel would probably be prohibitive. It would probably have to rank in the top 20 before anybody would consider it.

All the cities in Alaska are way too small even to be part of the discussion.

I think you’re about to get piled on by a bunch of irate Cheeseheads. (Rank 153 in population.)

The old North American Soccer League (NASL) did have a teamin Hawaii for one year. The team had the highly unusual name of Team Hawaii.


Stick to your harp, Exapno! :wink:

From your link:

Milwaukee is larger than both Buffalo and New Orleans. And the Packers used to play some of their home games in Milwaukee until the mid '90. So I think Exapno remains factually correct.

I just wanted to say I would love to see an NFL game played in Alaska in late fall.

Which is one reason you’ll never see it.

And no sissy domes either.

You also have to factor in travel time & time zones for teams. The time change from NYC to HI is 6 hours… probably not workable.

Moving to The Game Room from GQ.

General Questions Moderator

Quite apart from population, no city in Alaska or Hawaii has a sizable corporate base.

Who’s going to lease all those luxury boxes that a pro football team in Anchorage or Honolulu would try to sell?

I love seeing you in sports threads. Stick around in Cubs threads. Please.

Green Bay? There isn’t really a place called Green Bay is there? Who would play football on frozen tundra? :slight_smile:

Favre? Did somebody say something about Brett Favre? BrettFavreBrettFavreBrettFavre?

Heck, the Blazers in the NBA and Mariners/Seahawks in the MLB/NFL do more travel than any other teams because they are relatively isolated. I can’t imagine what travel would be like for a Hawaii/Alaska team would be.

The NFL plays the Pro Bowl in Honolulu. The Hula Bowl is the East/West college all-star game. Considering that both games are usually complete snooze-fests, it’s clear the NFL won’t put a team in Honolulu because the visting team would consider it a week’s paid vacation.

As for Major League Baseball, the experience of the Hawaii IslandersAAA team is probably instructive.

No to mention time zone differences and jet lag.

Back in the mid-60s, the California Angels desperately wanted another AL franchise on the west coast to cut travel expenses. And the Dodgers wanted the Giants to come west with them to give to have an opponent in the same time zone. It’s a little different nowadays, but the travel costs of any Honolulu team will make it hard for them.

I would expect a pro team in Honolulu to draw pretty well, but probably not well enough to survive.

The NFL, no way. Remember, Sunday NFL games start at 1 or 4 Eastern time. Can you imagine starting an NFL game that early in the morning?

I could perhaps see the NHL in Alaska one day. It is a long trip, but could be combined when teams play Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

It’s all about money, and there isn’t big money there. Reason why Hawaii can’t get any college bowl leverage, either. Bottom line.

If I recall correctly, in his book Ball Four Jim Bouton said that after pitching for the Islanders he might refuse any call to go up to the majors.

He was kidding, of course, but probably not by much.


Anchorage seems to do pretty OK with their ECHL team. If minor league teams can handle the travel costs and schedule, surely the NHL can. Only issue would be market size, I imagine.