The NFL has no plans for expansion at the moment, even though the city of San Antonio still believes it will be getting a franchise in the future. San Antonio had success in the Alliance of American Football with the Commandeers as the team averaged 27,720 fans in attendance at its four games at the Alamodome, by far the highest in the league.
San Antonio mayor Ron Nirenberg is still confident an NFL franchise is coming to the "Alamo City," as the city is ready for the highest level of professional football. If a team chooses to relocate or the league wants to expand, he wants San Antonio to have the first crack at a franchise.
"I said I think last year or the year before, I think San Antonio is an NFL city within 10 years, I still stand by that," Nirenberg said to RJ Marquez of KSAT.com. "And that is because of the evolution that's happening within the National Football League, the fact that it too is becoming an international league, particularly with its sights on Latin America."
San Antonio is the seventh-biggest city in the country in terms of population and one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. The city is the largest in the country without a NFL team, and one of three cities in the top ten to not have an NFL franchise (San Diego and San Jose). San Antonio was close to landing a team, but the Raiders franchise was using the city as leverage to get a new stadium built in Oakland. The Raiders got a new stadium built, but in Las Vegas -- where they relocated to in 2020.
The only current NFL franchise that faces the rumor mill of relocation is the Jacksonville Jaguars, but owner Shad Khan has consistently said the team will not move -- shooting down rumors about relocating to London after the Jaguars were scheduled to play two London games in 2020.
If San Antonio is going to be awarded an NFL franchise, its best chance is by expansion of the league. There are some goals San Antonio wants to accomplish as the city patiently awaits its chance.
"If there's not that corporate base, pro sports franchises look elsewhere," Nirenberg said. "And one of the things that has hindered that corporate base for decades in San Antonio is the fact that we didn't have enough workers to fill the positions that they would want to move here
"That's why we're investing in our own people and access to education, access to skills training and workforce development. So when we want to take those jobs that are available, we have the people to do it. And that's improving our economic trajectory. That's also improving the prospects for pro sports here."