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Townless Team

A sporting team that changes cities each year
  [vote for,

Inspired by the Montreal Expos stint in San Juan, Puerto Rico, waning attendance in various marque sport towns, as well as Jordan's retirement from play I imagined a sporting team in each league with no permenant geographic affiliation. In basketball I imagined a team owned and operated by Jordan called the "Airs" (or some other name with commercial tie in potential) that would feature the mixture of 18 year phenoms and semi retired super stars (ie. Lebron James and Dennis Rodman). Something of a barnstorming team the "Airs" would travel throughout the season to established venues as the visitor (ie. Sacramento) and to unserved markets as the home team (ie. New Orleans, Lexington). In baseball you could covert the Expos into true Expos. Let the league manage them and move them from one threshold major league town to another (ie. San Juan in 2003, Washington in 2004, Charlotte in 2005). Rather than plunking exspansion teams in a city and watching them flounder toward contraction, (ie.Tampa Bay, Florida, etc.) the league could test expansion out on markets on a rotating basis. Moreover they would not have to worry about conflicts over improvements, lease agreements, concession revenue, etc. A similar model could probably work for the NFL. (Though football could probably benefit for an International rotation, especially with weekly games and an emerging European market.)
pablopk, Apr 23 2003

afc Wimbledon http://www.afcwimbl.../club/chistory.html
[sufc, Oct 04 2004]


       I don't like this idea and I dont like the idea of a franchise team. In the UK we have got the prospect of a London team called Wimbledon moving to another town 70 miles away and leaving their loyal fanbase. The fans got pissed off with the club and have set up a rival club called AFC Wimbledon. See Link. The team I support have played at the same ground for the last 114 years. The fans have seen them lurch from crisis to crisis to sucess, narrowly avoid bankrupcy and had fans raise over a million from their own pockets to buy new players and keep the club going. We have had 3 corrupt chairmen who have been jailed over the last 20 years and had an Iraqi businessman called Sam who became Samantha try to buy the club. Even after all the crap and heartbreak they have put me through they are still my team and always will be. The idea that a team could just turn up in my town and expect me to support them when I know they will be gone at the end of the season is daft.
sufc, Apr 23 2003

       I would rather see a team like the Expos split time between two baseball loving international cities. A pre/post All-Star game stint in Tokyo, with long home stands with the same visting team and longer road trips. And the other half of the season calling their home Havanna, Cuba. Both countries have a strong history of producing excellent baseball players, the fans could see homegrown talent on their own team. Cuban and American tensions may decrease, possibly the embargo would be lifted and maybe we'll would see more of an openess in the Cuban government. Hey, Castro was almost a Yankee.
Jho, Apr 23 2003

       Did Cuba beat the USA at baseball at the Olympics a few years ago?
sufc, Apr 24 2003

       Sufc- While I can appreciate the neccesity and appeal of team loyalty, you have to appreciate distinctions between the veneration of tradition in Europe against the what have you done for me lately cynicism of America. In America while there is still some strong loyalty for local teams (trust me I have lived and died with a few teams of my own) the interchangability of players has turned many into fans of individuals over institutions. Some have gone so far as to call cheering for a local team, "routing for laundry." By spreading the wealth you establish and maintain a national fanbase, upon which merchandising and tv broadcast rights can be based.
pablopk, Apr 24 2003

       Obligatory *Used to date an Expo's sister* Post
thumbwax, Apr 24 2003

       But [sufc] it seems to me that very few English clubs now have any players who were born, grew up, trained or even live anywhere near the club they now play for. To me (and I admit I am not a football supporter) this would seem to cheapen the supporter-club loyalty.
hippo, Apr 24 2003

       The Brooklyn Dodgers did this years ago, and look what happened to them. Then again, the Red Sox stuck in Boston and sent their best player to New York, and look what happened to them.
DrCurry, Apr 24 2003

       I think some of you are looking at this the wrong way. You seem to be focusing on the (admittedly chronic) problem of established teams being picked up and moved by new owners, flaunting tradition. While I admit that is a terrible trend that affects almost all sports, it has little to do with this idea.   

       Note that he says "a team in each league". He's not saying ALL teams should be this way, he's saying there should be precisely ONE team that behaves this way in each sport.   

       This idea has to do with serving markets that owners would never consider moving a team to permanently, and rescuing teams that have only the alternative of going out of business. Sure, we'd all LOVE to see the <fill in team name> stay in <fill in city name>, but sometimes the economics simply do not support it. Would you rather your 114 year old team go out of business?   

       I like the idea. It helps solve some known problems. For instance, it will help "test out" and disprove markets that really can't support a team, preventing permanent teams from moving there and dying. Also, with Americans so mobile in the last 50 years, your fan base would truly be the entire country. A TV "superstation" could pick up this team as their "home" team, and everyone would be able to see the games easily.   

       Welcome to the bakery, pablopk! Nice first idea. (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, Apr 24 2003

       Looks like the New Orleans Saints will be a Townless Team for a few seasons.   

       Kind of reminds me of the EA All Stars team in the Soccer video games. Yeah, I enjoyed playing as them and beating up on Qatar 14-1
Cuit_au_Four, Nov 08 2005


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