Why a 40 Team NFL Will Happen
Currently there are a total of 32 NFL teams, 16 for the AFC and 16 for the NFC. When you think about it adding eight more teams ( four for each conference ) will totally work. Most likely it wont happen for awhile but it will happen.
Here are the main reasons why a 40 team NFL will happen.
#1- Population Growth
The last time the NFL last expanded was 2002 and the US population was 287.6 million, when you divide 287,000,000 by 32 you get about 9 million people per team ( assuming that everyone in the US watches football and has a favorite team.) According to the United States Census Bureau, the current population is 329 million. If you divide 329,000,000 by 9 million, you get 36 teams. If you multiply 9,000,000 by 40 you get 360 million. 360 million is the projected population in the year 2030.
Yes, you wont find 9 million fans of a single team but the math does work. In the Super Bowl era of the NFL the league expands once every 14 years, so we are over due for an expansion as the last one should've been 2016. If you do follow the rate the NFL should hit 40 teams around 2060, if they expand by two teams every 5 years starting in 2021.
#2 - Good Cities
The main things a city needs to expand is a lot of people, good economy and a city that is interested in football. The smallest city to host a team is Green Bay with a population of 300,000, which means about one third of the city goes to the games. The average city population for a NFL team is around 4.2 million, but there are 16 teams that fail to meet that. The city would also have to be in a decent spot.
#3 - Shared Stadiums
If the NFL does expand there may be two teams in the same city, for example both the New York Giants and the New York Jets share MetLife Stadium. Not only would that save space in an growing city but it would also cut down costs. Doing this would also make an automatic rivalry between teams, making games more interesting.
#4 - Europe League
The NFL tried an league in Europe before called "NFL Europe" which was founded in 1989 and ran between 1991 - 2007. Most of the NFL Europe teams were based in the Americas, but if the NFL makes a sole division in Europe it can work and all 8 teams could be based in Europe. Europe is home of some of the largest cities in the world and we've seen that Europe has some die hard fans. The only down side of this and the biggest reason of why it may not work is because of the NFL's scheduling. The NFL makes it so every team plays against one another at least once every four years, the only teams that would play against one another every year is if they are in the same division category (Ex: AFC East.)
#5 - Adds new Competition
Adding new teams will of course add new competition to the game and new rivals. Doing this would of course make the NFL Draft longer and a lot more interesting as much more players would be picked and a lot more strategy would be put in.
The only downside of this is that its not garneted, we see a lot of teams tanking and looking to relocate. If a team does need to relocate it would need a new stadium and by doing that would take eyes off of expansion. The only way expansion is still possible this way is if who teams relocate, the stadiums are kept and 2 new teams call that stadium home. By doing that would make a total of 34 teams. The last team we saw relocate was the Oakland Raiders as they moved to Las Vegas, the Raiders shared their stadium with the Oakland Athletics of the MLB.