The NFL is the most popular sports league in the United States, and its regular-season contests routinely draw larger audiences than World Series games. Therefore, it may seem natural that Idaho residents would want to have a franchise of their own to root for. However, there are both pros and cons to having a professional football team in that part of the country.
Perhaps the biggest factor working in Idaho’s favor is the success of the Boise State football team. The Broncos routinely sell out their home stadium and have sent many players to the NFL. Bringing a professional team to the area could help shine a brighter spotlight on the school and make it easier to recruit quality players.
Another great reason to bring a team to Idaho is the fact that it could help bring more revenue to the area. Simply having a professional football team would provide people with an excuse to go downtown on a Monday, Thursday or Sunday during the fall. Those people would likely go to bars, restaurants and other locations. Seeing how Idaho is relatively rural, individuals who come to a game might choose to stay in a hotel instead of driving several hours back home immediately. Finally, the increased revenue would increase the state’s tax revenues, which would allow it to invest in schools, roads and social programs.
An NFL franchise can be expensive to acquire, and the lead owner would need to win at least 51% of the team. In 2018, the Carolina Panthers sold for more than $2.2 billion, which means the potential owner or a collective group of investors would need to contribute an excess of 1 to 2 billion of his or her own money. There has been a lot of talk about TBIs in sports which can bring negative press. Player antics such as holding out or getting arrested could also bring negative press, which could make it harder to convince people to attend a game. High levels of traffic and expensive ticket prices may also cause fans to watch at home as opposed to going to the stadium.
Currently, there are 32 NFL teams and no plans to expand the league in the United States. Therefore, it is unlikely that Idaho would get a team in the near future. However, given the popularity of football in the United States, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a team in Idaho doing well from a financial perspective.