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Comments about ‘The NFL in Utah: Possible or pipe dream?’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 1 2013 11:35 a.m. MST

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atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

[Looking at those numbers, it’s natural to think, “If those cities can do it, Salt Lake certainly can. And I’d totally jump on the bandwagon. After all, I’ve only been a Ute fan since 2005 and I love them!”]

I figured it'd be natural to think "Sure those cities can do that but Salt Lake can't since the NFL plays on Sunday and being a faithful BYU fan I wouldn't be caught dead at a stadium that day of the week".

Lakers
Sandy, UT

Honestly I'd rather not have an NFL team in Utah. We have great support for our NCAA teams, and there is already enough live football for those who want it. For the rest of us, there are plenty of teams to watch on TV, and I doubt a Utah team would ever be among the best; it would be more entertaining to just watch a different team.

Also, it's worth mentioning that half of the residents of Salt Lake are LDS, and most LDS probably wouldn't attend a live NFL home game if there were a team in Salt Lake. That cuts the potential live audience down to 400,000 or so, and many aren't interested in football, or can't afford NFL tickets. It might be difficult to consistently fill a 50,000+ seat stadium.

H-TownTiger
Hurricane, 00

@atl134 playing on sunday hasn't stopped utah from having an nba team....why would that change in utah having an nfl team?

eastcoastcoug
Danbury, CT

The Utes don't always sell out their stadium of 45k. BYU struggles to fill its stadium of 65k. There are only so many fan dollars to go around. The West will keep growing faster than any other part of the country. Perhaps in another 30 years or so.

chubbymagoo
Salt Lake City, UT

This article has some soild analysis. The childish jabs at the University of Utah and its fans, however, take away from the article rather than add to it. Remove the jabs and I may take the writer seriously.

The 800-pound gorilla in the room is barely analyzed: a significant percentage of the potential fan base will be somewhere other than the stadium on Sunday. If any matrix could take this into account, the greater SLC market will drop significantly. My gut teels me it would drop out of the top 50.

@ H-TownTiger: The NFL is a Sunday sport with 16-game seasons. Each team plays only one game each week which is overwhelmingly played on Sunday. The NBA has an 82-game season with games played seven days a week. The NBA takes into account the Utah market and schedules as few Sunday home games for the Jazz as possible, which helps the Jazz tremendously.

Ballplayer
Spanish Fork, UT

@H-Town Tiger. Per an agreement with the NBA, the Jazz don't play very many home games on Sunday. One of the only exceptions to the agreement is when they are in the playoffs and the NBA has to schedule on a Sunday to keep the playoffs on schedule. The PAC-12 scheduled the U of U to play a home game last Sunday vs. Stanford. I channel surfed past that and noticed a huge number of empty seats close to the court. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the Utes were getting it handed to them, but it was still the first half so I doubt many of the fans who would normally occupy those seats went to the game. The PAC-12, in its arrogance, didn't consider cultural reality in creating the schedule. The NBA does consider that, and I'm sure the NFL would too. Since I doubt the NFL would be willing to give a Utah franchise all the Monday Night games when they are scheduled to play at home, I can't see them putting a team here until the demographics shift away from where they are now.

rlsintx
Plano, TX

I've lived in 3 NFL markets.

You don't want a team - the public ends up dropping TONs of cash keeping it all happy.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

...and Utah will get the Olympics again really soon.
...and Jon Huntsman Jr will be Secretary of State, then President in 2016.
...and cold fusion will power our cars in three years.
Are we that naive?

Shawnm750
West Jordan, UT

@Lakers - The LDS factor is minimal, since the Jazz regularly play on Sunday, and they still manage to get fans there. Plus, with fewer games being played at home each season and a shorter season than the NBA schedule, people would make more of an effort to attend games.

KSL actually did a story on this a few years back with Larry Miller. His overall take was that the real issue in bringing an NFL franchise to Utah would not be whether or not there's a substantial fan base, but cost. By the time you build a stadium, employ a staff to support both the team and the facility, you're looking at a $500,000,000 investment. Finding that kind of capital is difficult, especially right now. Also, a football stadium is really only good for that: football. There are a limited number of other events that can be held there, so getting use out of it beyond that to generate revenue is difficult. Lastly, it's up to the league as to whether they'll ever expand or not. I'd say acquiring a relocating team would be more realistic, but still HIGHLY unlikely in the near future... 8^\

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Let's hope it's a pipe dream. It would encourage more people in Utah to play football instead of safer more healthy alternatives.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

It would be cool.... but not a chance in the world. Those other cities that are of peer size have much more densely populated states... or have a national following from their history. A Utah team would have neither.

And to the NBA example.... even in the most odd scheduling of circumstances would an NBA play any more than a 1/3rd of its schedule on sundays. Conversely, an NFL team will play upward of 90 percent of its games on sunday. It is an apples and oranges comparison.

majmajor
Layton, UT

I don't think that Utah will get an NFL team in the next 20 years. Politically, the broncos think that Utah is a suburb of their fan base. For years that team was broadcasted in the SLC market over really good teams and area fan favorites (9ers, Bears, any other team...). With more channals available this is less of a factor (but I still hate the broncos (the team, not the players)

One piece of false logic that the story identified is that some individuals will compare the Salt Lake region vs another city (i.e. Kansas City...) It isn't a true comparion. People will regulary travel 50 - 100 miles to attend an NFL game. Any comparisons should show the same distance comparisons.

The Sunday play would also be an issue. I don't think that "no good LDS member would show up," but I do think that most would go to one game every-year-or-two as a "treat." It wouldn't be anough to pay for a team.

I would like an NFL team in Utah just as long as it wasn't the broncos. ;)

Go Utes
Salt Lake City, UT

Why the random hating on Utah and its fans? You lost me when you pulled that out of thin air.

I was cheering for the Utes long before 2005. I was strongly with them back in the '80s--back when BYU could beat them.

joseywales
Park City, UT

I don't think the Sunday play is as big of a deal breaker as most of you want to make it. I did some research on my own neighborhood last year for a different reason, but it would hold true for this purpose too. That is, of 100 Lds households in my area, 60 percent told me they would attend sporting events (soccer, football, basketball, baseball,) or theater or music (concerts/symphony) on Sundays "most of the time" 25% told me "sometimes" and 10% said "Never" The other 5% said for special occasion only. Remember, these events aren't every Sunday. While this was a small sampling, and the numbers were much higher for non-LDS in my area, I think that just because you are Lds, doesn't mean you won't attend certain events. If you had 8 football games per season, it's feasible that you would find a decent amount of LDS attendees. You also have to figure that southern Idaho, and Wyoming would factor into the equation for potential audience as well. I doubt it will happen, but I would love it and I want to be a season ticket holder!

Mount Olympus
Salt Lake, UT

Please trade the Jazz to Seattle for the Seahawks.

Razzle2
Bluffdale, UT

If this is how they pick NFL cities, than L.A. would have a team or two or four.

Lot of other things to look at. Sunday is biggest. Monday and Thursday nights still doesn't work because of the Utah weather. Only nationally televised games are played at night in the winter cities. Two major University teams, the NBA, and Soccer are more competition than most cities too.

On the other hand, Major League Baseball would love Salt Lake City.

tlaulu
Taylorsville, Utah

NFL in Utah? We'll just have to change our three hour block meetings to probably one and half hour. Then I can come home and watch the game on T.V. lol!

Canyontreker
TAYLORSVILLE, UT

When I lived in Denver, the LDS Sunday morning blocks were full and the afternoon was empty. I guess most were watching TV. Culture can adapt just like summer Lake Powell trips, NBA playoffs, etc.

Give me a commission and I will sell a ton of season tickets from Las Vegas too.

Go NFL Utah Pioneers!

Bob Pomeroy
Bisbee, AZ

the money is in television. build a nice viewing stadium close to the field and they will come.

Bluto
Sandy, UT

Currently you need a minimum market size of 5-7 million (population).

Utah is 30 years away from that kind of growth and by then the base will need to be 10+ million.

NFL franchises are pretty set. If LA can't steal one from another city, then Utah never will. Not happeninig!

The only reason we have the NBA is because Sam Battistone is LDS and his wife was from Holladay. And with the proven support of the Stars, he looked to SLC. The Salt Palace was sitting idle and the rent was cheap. With only 3k fans showing up in the 80k seat Superdome, Battistone moved on.

No, without those Mormons, Checketts, Battistone and then Miller, Salt Lake would just be another minor league town.

Hats off to these guys!

Baseball? Maybe....a longshot though.

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