My vote is in! I’ve got this all figured out! Did it all my by myself!
If the NFL ever decides to plant franchise roots in the Alamo City, the stadium should be built in New Braunfels, Texas!
There are currently ten National Football League teams that play home games in their respective city suburbs:
- The Dallas Cowboys (Arlington)
- The Washington Redskins (Landover, Maryland)
- The San Francisco 49ers (Santa Clara)
- The New York Giants/The New York Jets (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
- The Arizona Cardinals (Glendale)
- The New England Patriots (Foxborough)
- The Los Angeles Chargers (Carson)
- The Buffalo Bills (Orchard Park)
- The Miami Dolphins (Miami Gardens)
Now the first problem, for New Braunfels, is Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. This argument is not new. It’s old, in fact. The billionaire owner of America’s Team knows he ‘owns’ the Interstate 35 corridor all the way to the Laredo, and into neighboring Mexico. I’ve always argued that San Antonio might be more Dallas Cowboys crazy than Dallas/Fort Worth, and I might be right. Conventional wisdom says that JJ, one of the more powerful owners in the league, would never allow anything but his team to have market share in the Alamo City. But the other thirty-one owners, along with Mr. Jones, and the commissioner would ultimately have the final say as one huge power playing group.
The second problem, for New Braunfels, would be I-35 traffic, which we all know is borderline ridiculous. I’d have to respectfully defer to TxDOT to work their magic with that part of the deal. If they relieve the 281 headache north of Loop 1604, they can do anything!!!
The third problem, for New Braunfels, is the San Antonio argument. Why not in the city? Why not near downtown? Why not near the AT&T Center, where the Spurs play? Well, if the city power players still can’t find any solution for a new stadium for Missions Baseball, how are they gonna find room for 60,000 NFL fans? And I’ve heard the stories about the AT&T Center. All the development that was supposed to happen with the arena project that never did? Going off past history, it seems unlikely to me.
But there is good news for New Braunfels! That community continues to explode! And can you imagine the economic boom that would provide to that ever-growing area?
New Braunfels, as far as I can tell, is big on hospitality. My sense is they’d roll out the red carpets, and view this as the opportunity of a lifetime. Don’t we all already consider New Braunfels basically the greater San Antonio area? Between Schlitterbahn, Texas Hill Country activities, dining, and interstate hotels - aren’t they already off and running? Not to mention the new business that would sprout with news that the most popular professional sports league in the country was coming.
And I’ve saved the most important point for last! New Braunfels is an easier drive for our friends in Austin. And yup, we need ‘em! It’s long been argued that San Antonio doesn’t have the corporate dollars, the general population fiscal strength to support an NFL franchise.
Well, that’s where the #KeepAustinWeird people figure into the mix. This whole thing needs to be predicated around San Antonio AND Austin. Are the two cities, with San Marcos in the middle, not already essentially converging into one massive conglomerate? That was for you, TxDOT! With corporate dollars from both cities? That’s an obvious easy victory for South Texas, and the league. When has Goodell’s office in New York ever turned down one almighty dollar?
San Antonio embraced the New Orleans Saints post-Hurricane Katrina. That was awesome to see! And it also proves something else. San Antonio - and even Austin - are clearly heavy for their beloved Dallas Cowboys, but NFL football is NFL football. There is no sports entertainment value quite like it. We, and our friends to the north, would embrace whoever, whenever.