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Expansion team

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An expansion team is a new team in a sports league, usually from a city that has not hosted a team in that league before, formed with the intention of satisfying the demand for a local team from a population in a new area. Sporting leagues also hope that the expansion of their competition will grow the popularity of the sport generally. The term is most commonly used in reference to the North American major professional sports leagues but is applied to sports leagues in other countries with a closed franchise system of league membership. The term comes from the expansion of the sport into new areas. That sometimes results in the payment of an expansion fee to the league by the new team and an expansion draft to populate the new roster.

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  • ✪ 10 Expansion Teams Who SHOCKED Us With A Great Season
  • ✪ MLB Expansion? (Where They Should Go)
  • ✪ Unknown NFL Franchises That Almost Joined The League
  • ✪ XFL - 32 Team Expansion and Alignment Proposal
  • ✪ 10 Cities that Deserve A New Sports Team

Transcription

Contents

Reasons for expansion

In North America, expansion often takes place in response to population growth and geographic shifts of population. Such demographic change results in financial opportunities to engage with the new market as consumers of sports demand local teams to support. Major League Baseball (MLB) was limited to 16 teams located north and east of St. Louis, Missouri for the first half of the 20th century. During that time, the United States population doubled and expanded to the south and west. Rival interests explored the possibility of forming a rival league in the untapped markets. To forestall that possibility, one of the measures that MLB took was to expand by four teams in 1961 and 1962. Over the past four decades, MLB expanded further, to its current 30-team membership. In the context of MLB, the term "expansion team" is also used to refer to any of the 14 teams enfranchised in the second half of the 20th century.

Leagues that are new and/or financially struggling may also admit large numbers of expansion teams so that the existing franchises can pocket more revenue from expansion fees. Indoor American football leagues are notorious for doing so: the leagues can double the number of teams and have many new teams fail within a year or two. Major League Soccer, after spending most of its first decade of existence with relatively stable membership and struggling finances, adopted a policy of continuous expansion beginning in 2005, a policy that the league as of 2017 has no intention of stopping.[1]

When an expansion team begins play, it is generally stocked with less talented free agents, inexperienced players, and veterans nearing retirement. Additionally, prospective owners may face expensive fees to the league as well as high startup costs such as stadiums and facilities, and the team is also at a disadvantage in that it has not been together as a team as long as its opponents and thus lacks the cohesiveness other teams have built over years. As a result, most expansion teams are known for their poor play during their first few seasons, which can be exacerbated by the fact that leagues sometimes expand by two or four teams in one season for scheduling reasons, such as eliminating the possibility of a team being without an opponent on a preferred date by an odd number of teams. In those cases, expansion teams must compete with their expansion rivals for available talent. Expansion teams are not usually doomed to mediocrity forever, as most leagues have policies which promote parity, such as drafts and salary caps, which give some expansion teams the opportunity to win championships only a few years after their first season. The Arizona Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series in only their fourth season. The Milwaukee Bucks won the 1971 NBA Finals in only their third year of existence, greatly helped by drafting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1969 draft and acquiring Oscar Robertson from the Cincinnati Royals before the 1970-71 season began. The Chicago Fire won MLS Cup in 1998 in just their first year of existence in Major League Soccer. In 2011, the Portland Timbers started their MLS franchise, and they won the MLS Cup in 2015. The Florida Panthers made the Stanley Cup Finals in only their 3rd season in the National Hockey League (NHL) even though, like MLB, the league then had no salary cap. The NHL's Vegas Golden Knights quickly emerged as one of the NHL's best teams in its first season, thanks to a generous expansion draft, eventually advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals. The National Football League, despite being considered the most generous in its revenue sharing and the strictest with its salary cap, has had far more difficulty bringing expansion teams up to par with their more established brethren: since the AFL–NFL merger, the soonest that any of the six expansion teams that have been added after the merger would win a Super Bowl was 27 seasons (the time it took for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the team's 1976 establishment to win Super Bowl XXXVII in early 2003); none of the four that have been added since 1995 have ever won that contest, with only one, the Carolina Panthers (who reached the game eight years after their founding, and again 12 years later) even playing in the NFL's championship game. The transplantation of the Cleveland Browns' roster to Baltimore and its restocking via expansion has so far crippled the franchise, with it ranking among the worst in league history since the expansion and only appearing in the NFL playoffs once, having yet to win a playoff game since then.

Most teams are considered as an expansion team usually in their first season and sometimes in their second season, but especially for purists, Major League Baseball teams can be considered "expansion teams" indefinitely. A team that moves to another location and/or changes its name is not an expansion team. If it moves, it is known as a relocated team, and if the name changes, the team is known as a renamed team. In response to a negative attitude that some fans have towards relocated teams,[according to whom?] there have recently been instances where relocating clubs change their identity completely; name, colors and mascot; but because the roster is the same and the league does not expand as a result, they are not regarded as expansion teams. One exception is the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL): when the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore, an agreement was reached for which the trademark and history of the pre-1996 Cleveland Browns remained in that city and was claimed by the post-1999 Browns when the league placed a new franchise there, even though the personnel and roster had moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens.[citation needed]Another exception is the New Orleans Pelicans, who were previously known as the New Orleans Hornets after relocating to New Orleans from Charlotte, N.C., in 2002. After the 2012 sale of the Hornets, new owner Tom Benson changed the name, colors and mascot from Hornets to Pelicans. The Charlotte Hornets segment of the franchise's history was sold to the then-Charlotte Bobcats (themselves formerly considered a 2004 expansion team) and the 2002 New Orleans Hornets are now officially regarded as an expansion team.

Cities and regions with large populations that lack a team are generally regarded to be the best candidates for new teams. In rugby league, the United Kingdom-based Rugby Football League's Super League has added teams from France and Wales to cover a great demographic spread. The operator of Super League, England's Rugby Football League, has also added teams to the lower levels of its league pyramid, specifically the Championship and League 1, from both France and Wales, and most recently Canada. In rugby union, the competition originally known as the Celtic League and now as Pro14, which began with sides only from the Celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, has added teams from Italy and more recently South Africa. The U.S.-based NFL has been laying groundwork for a potential franchise in the UK, tentatively slated to launch in 2022.

Expansion teams in North America

Major League Baseball

National Basketball Association

National Football League

Only extant teams are listed. Two charter franchises, the Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals and Chicago Bears (originally Decatur Staleys), are still active.

American Football League

Two teams from the AFL of the 1960s were expansion teams in that league. Both joined the AFL after the merger with the NFL was agreed to, but before it was finalized.

National Hockey League

Major League Soccer

Arena Football League

Only extant members of the AFL are listed.

Canadian Football League

Major League Lacrosse

National Lacrosse League

National Women's Soccer League

Ontario Hockey League

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Western Hockey League

Women's National Basketball Association

Women's Professional Soccer

Expansion teams in Australia and New Zealand

A-League

Australian Football League

AFL Women's

AFL Women's, launched in 2017, is operated by the Australian Football League, with all teams fielded by AFL clubs. The first expansion occurred prior to the 2019 season, with a second expansion set for the 2020 season.

National Basketball League

National Rugby League

New South Wales Cup

Northern Territory Football League

Queensland Cup

Ron Massey Cup

Super League

Super Rugby

  • 2006: Cheetahs and Western Force
    • The Cheetahs and Force were both dropped from Super Rugby after the 2017 season. The Cheetahs immediately became an expansion team in Pro14. The Force later moved to Australia's National Rugby Championship.
  • 2011: Melbourne Rebels
  • 2013: Southern Kings
    • The Kings were dropped from Super Rugby at the same time as the Cheetahs and Force, and joined Pro14 alongside the Cheetahs.
  • 2016: Jaguares and Sunwolves

Victorian Football League

West Australian Football League

Women's National Basketball League

Expansion teams in Asia

Indian Premier League

Indian Super League

Philippine Basketball Association

Pakistan Super League

Expansion teams in Europe

Kontinental Hockey League

Pro14

  • 2010:
    • Aironi – A team formed specifically for the competition by several existing clubs in Northern Italy, with Viadana the lead side. The team folded when the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) revoked its professional license effective with the end of the 2011–12 Pro12 season; it was replaced by the FIR-operated Zebre.
    • Benetton Treviso – Founded in 1932, it competed in Italian domestic leagues before joining the competition originally known as the Celtic League, later known as Pro12 and now as Pro14.
  • 2017:
    • Cheetahs
    • Southern Kings
      • These teams had played in Super Rugby before that competition's governing body, SANZAAR, axed three teams at the end of the 2017 season. Both had themselves been Super Rugby expansion teams; the Cheetahs entered in 2006 and the Kings in 2013.

Super League

VTB United League

Expansion teams in Africa

Vodacom Cup

  • 2010:
    • Welwitschias (a developmental side for the Namibia national rugby union team) - This was the second time Namibia participated in the competition; it entered a team from 1999 to 2001. The team withdrew from the competition after the 2011 season due to financial constraints. They remained in the Vodacom Cup until the competition was scrapped after its 2015 season. The team now features in the Vodacom Cup's successor competition, the Rugby Challenge.
    • Pampas XV (a developmental side for the Argentina national rugby union team) - Argentina left the Vodacom Cup after the 2013 season, choosing instead to enter the IRB Pacific Cup from 2014. At that time, it was also expected that Argentina would be added to Super Rugby in the near future,[3] and the country would eventually receive a Super Rugby team beginning in 2016.

References

  1. ^ "Commissioner Garber: Next round of MLS expansion "likely happening in 2020"". mlssoccer.com. April 14, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Charlotte Hornets Name Returns to Carolinas". Charlotte Hornets. May 20, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  3. ^ "Radical changes as Argentina plans for the future". ESPN Scrum. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
This page was last edited on 27 March 2019, at 21:47
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