No Team For You! 5 Failed Sports Expansion Bids

empty white and red seats

The quest to host a professional sports team is a dream shared by many cities around the world. It represents an opportunity to boost local economies, unite communities, and create a sense of pride. However, not every city can emerge victorious in the highly competitive bidding process. In this article, we explore a few notable cities that have lost expansion bids for professional sports teams. These cities may have missed out on the chance to don the colors of their own franchise, but their stories serve as a testament to the enduring passion for sports and the pursuit of athletic glory.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, known for its fervent sports culture and enthusiastic fan base, experienced a blow when the National Hockey League (NHL) granted an expansion team to Las Vegas instead in 2016. Despite Seattle’s strong hockey history and a passionate fan campaign known as “Bring Back the NHL,” the city had to wait until 2021 to finally welcome the Seattle Kraken as the 32nd NHL team. However, Seattle’s perseverance paid off, as the Kraken’s arrival rekindled the city’s love for the sport and brought a new era of professional hockey to the Pacific Northwest.

St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis is a city with a rich sports tradition, with notable success in baseball and football. However, when Major League Soccer (MLS) announced plans for expansion teams in 2017, St. Louis narrowly missed out on becoming one of the chosen cities. Despite an ardent effort by local supporters and soccer enthusiasts, the bid fell short. Nevertheless, St. Louis remained committed to the sport, and in 2019, the city was awarded an MLS expansion team, St. Louis City SC. The team’s inception solidifies St. Louis’ reputation as a formidable sports city.

Quebec City, Canada

For Canadian hockey fans, the loss of an NHL team can be particularly heartbreaking. Quebec City, a city steeped in hockey tradition, has been without an NHL franchise since the Quebec Nordiques relocated to Colorado in 1995. Despite efforts to secure a new team, including the construction of the state-of-the-art Videotron Centre, Quebec City was passed over in favor of other markets during the NHL’s expansion process. Nevertheless, the enduring passion of Quebec City’s hockey fans has not waned, and they continue to hope for the return of the NHL to their beloved city.

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, renowned for its passionate sports fans and rich sporting history, has long coveted a professional sports team to call its own. The city made a strong push for an expansion franchise in Major League Soccer (MLS) but fell short in the selection process. Despite the setback, Louisville continues to thrive as a sports town, boasting successful minor league baseball and basketball teams, and maintaining a deep-rooted love for sports that resonates throughout the city.

Portland, Oregon

Portland has established itself as a vibrant sports city with dedicated fans supporting the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA and the Portland Timbers in Major League Soccer. However, the city’s aspirations to host a Major League Baseball (MLB) team have yet to be fulfilled. Portland has expressed interest in securing an MLB franchise, but competing with other potential expansion cities and the challenges of finding suitable stadium infrastructure have presented hurdles. Nonetheless, Portland’s fervor for sports remains evident in its existing teams and the thriving sports culture within the community.

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