The case for an NFL team in Sacramento

We’re laying out the reasons we think the City of Trees deserves to be the home of a professional football squad.


We’re going to need a bigger venue than Hughes Stadium to make this a reality.

Photo via Sacramento Republic FC

Table of Contents

City Editor Jordan here — Every year, as I prep for my annual pilgrimage to the Bay Area to attend one game for my beloved San Francisco 49ers, I think to myself: why doesn’t Sacramento have a professional football team?

Sure, there have been attempts before. We’ve told you about both the Sacramento Surge and the Sacramento Mountain Lions, and the Arena Football League even operated in the City of Trees ~30 years ago. Most recently, a team has been announced as part of Major League Football — though their inaugural season has been delayed from this fall to June 2024 — but why doesn’t the city have an NFL team?

Today, I’m making the case for why Sacramento deserves an NFL team.

🏈 Market size

Market size is a term used to describe the number of TV viewers in a specific region. Sacramento ranks as the 20th largest media market in the country — coming in ahead of 12 of the NFL’s 32 already-established markets.

🏈 Fan base

Sacramento fans are some of the most loyal fans you’ll find anywhere in the country. What other city not only has 20,000+ people show up for its soccer team’s first ever game, but also successfully campaigns to keep its NBA team in town through seven years of threats to leave?

🏈 Stadium

Remember that fancy pants new stadium being built at The Railyards for Republic FC? Turns out soccer pitches are larger than standard football fields, which would allow for (fairly) easy conversion between the two. We don’t want to tell anyone how to manage their money — but perhaps the city could recoup a bit more revenue by hosting football games at the site along with soccer matches.

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