Feb 202012
 

The AFL sparked tremendous growth in major professional football. In 1959, only 11 cities could say they were the home to a major professional football team. In 1970, when the AFL and NFL merged, 25 cities held franchises.

For as many cities the AFL brought football to, there were just as many left behind.

Listed below are all the cities that had applied or had been mentioned by major media outlets as potential locations for AFL expansion teams. The list also includes locations that were awarded expansion teams. The list only includes AFL teams. For a list of proposed expansion in the NFL click here, or the AAFC click here.

The list is an ongoing project. I have created an extensive list, but I imagine there is still some missing information. If you have any cited information or leads please contact me.

I wanted to keep the list rather uncomplicated, but some explanation is still needed.

Here is an explanation of each expansion era.

1960-1962 Expansion Era – The formative years of the AFL. An era in which expansion was widely speculated, but never accomplished.

1963-1969 Expansion Era – The era which ultimately led to expansion in 1966 and 1968.

 

Each location has a small description explaining their bid for a team. Here is a guide on how to interpret those descriptions.

Descriptions

Founding Member - The team’s first season was in 1960. The AFL’s inaugural season.

Joined the AFL – A team that joined the AFL.

Aborted Plans to Join the AFL – A location that the AFL granted a team to, but for one reason or another never fielded a squad.

 

Candidate for ExpansionA location mentioned by the AFL, government officials, and/or the mainstream media as a potential location for a team. Also includes locations that applied for teams.

Proposed Founding Member  – A location mentioned by the AFL, and/or mainstream media as a potential location for a founding franchise in the AFL.

 

Proposed AFL Expansion

Note: The list only covers the AFL. For a list of proposed expansion in the NFL click here, or the AAFC click here.

The list is organized by state, and then location in chronological order. Includes locations that were awarded teams, and the original composition of the AFL.

Sources: Click here to view the sources I used to compile this list. It’s a lengthy document but it’s organized by state and location.

Menu

Alabama | Arizona | California | Colorado | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Illinois | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Missouri | New York | Ohio | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Tennessee | Texas | Washington | Wisconsin

Canada

 


Home
Alabama
Birmingham, AL
Birmingham Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Arizona
Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
California
Los Angeles, CA Metro Area
Los Angeles Chargers Founding Member 1960 Season
(now the San Diego Chargers)    
Anaheim Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
Los Angeles Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
San Francisco, CA Metro Area
Oakland Raiders Founding Member 1960 Season
San Francisco Proposed Founding Member 1960 Season
San Francisco Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Colorado
Denver, CO
Denver Broncos Founding Member 1960 Season
     
  Home
District of Columbia
Washington, DC
Washington Candidate for Expansion 1960-1962 Expansion Era
Washington Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Florida
Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville Candidate for Expansion 1960-1962 Expansion Era
     
Miami, FL
Miami Proposed Founding Member 1960 Season
Miami Dolphins Joined the AFL 1966 Season
     
  Home
Georgia
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Proposed Founding Member 1960 Season
Atlanta Aborted Plans to Join the AFL 1961 Expansion
Atlanta Aborted Plans to Join the AFL 1966 Expansion
     
  Home
Hawaii
Honolulu, HI
Honolulu Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Illinois
Chicago, IL
Chicago Aborted Plans to Join the AFL 1961 Expansion
Chicago Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Kentucky
Louisville, KY
Louisville Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Louisiana
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Proposed Founding Member 1960 Season
New Orleans Candidate for Expansion 1960-1962 Expansion Era
New Orleans Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Maryland
Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Massachusetts
Boston, MA
Boston Patriots Founding Member 1960 Season
(now the New England Patriots)    
     
  Home
Michigan
Detroit, MI
Detroit Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Aborted Plans to Join the AFL 1960 Season
     
  Home
Missouri
Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Proposed Founding Member 1960 Season
Kansas City Candidate for Expansion 1960-1962 Expansion Era
     
  Home
New York
Buffalo, NY
Buffalo Bills Founding Member 1960 Season
     
New York, NY
New York Titans Founding Member 1960 Season
(now the New York Jets)    
     
  Home
Ohio
Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati Candidate for Expansion 1960-1962 Expansion Era
Cincinnati Bengals Joined the AFL 1968 Season
     
Cleveland, OH
Cleveland Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
     
Columbus, OH
Columbus Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Oregon
Portland, OR
Portland Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Candidate for Expansion 1960-1962 Expansion Era
Philadelphia Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Tennessee
Memphis, TN
Memphis Candidate for Expansion 1960-1962 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Texas
Dallas, TX
Dallas Texans Founding Member 1960 Season
(now the Kansas City Chiefs)    
     
Houston, TX
Houston Oilers Founding Member 1960 Season
(now the Tennessee Titans)    
     
  Home
Washington
Seattle, WA
Seattle Proposed Founding Member 1960 Season
Seattle Candidate for Expansion 1960-1962 Expansion Era
Seattle Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
  Home
Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
    Home
International Locations
Canada
Ontario
Toronto, ON
Toronto Candidate for Expansion 1960-1962 Expansion Era
Toronto Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era
     
     
Quebec
Montreal, QB
Montreal Candidate for Expansion 1960-1962 Expansion Era
Montreal Candidate for Expansion 1963-1969 Expansion Era

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