Sports Illustrated says Austin-San Antonio area 'ripe and ready' for NFL team

Sports Illustrated thinks an Austin-San Antonio NFL team would be a success (File photos: CBS Austin/SBG San Antonio)

Do you think the Austin and San Antonio area could support a professional football team? A writer at Sports Illustrated thinks so.

Last week, published a round table discussion on which cities in North America are most deserving of an NFL expansion team, and writer Albert Breer picked the Austin-San Antonio metroplex as his top choice:

I know the McNairs and Joneses won’t like it, but the best unoccupied market in these United States is sitting right down the road from Houston and Dallas in Central Texas. That’s right, a little over a decade after both the Raiders and Saints flirted with the area, the San Antonio/Austin metroplex (yup, we’ll steal that from Dallas too) is ripe and ready to be home to an NFL team.

Breer's proposed team, the Austin Coyotes--pronounced "KY-oats," and named for the team in "Varsity Blues"--would be shared by the two cities, which "aren’t seen as a combined market but are just a few Buc-ees Truck Stops away from each other."

As for market size, San Antonio has more TV households on its own than NFL cities like Kansas City, Las Vegas, or Cincinnati. If that were to be combined with Austin, Breer writes, the number would be 1.71 million--bigger than Miami or Denver.

He also speculates that Austin's rapid growth will only make that number larger:

With that has come a tech boom and economic explosion in the region, smack in the middle of the most football-crazy state in America. And while Austin brings the cash and growth, San Antonio and its prominent Spanish-speaking community can serve as a gateway for the league into Mexico.

Other cities mentioned in the round table were San Diego, Oklahoma City, Portland, Montreal and the Quad Cities.