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Expanding the Map

The untapped areas for new franchises
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LAST WEEK, BASEBALL'S Rob Manfred joined the chorus of commissioners who have discussed the possibility of expanding internationally when he spoke of his desire to have MLB put another team in Canada, or one in Mexico, or both. That is in keeping with previous forays by the NBA (Mexico) and NFL (England) to grow beyond America's borders. But while any such move would certainly generate bigger headlines, there are still fresh options remaining in the U.S. of A. Here are the 10 most populous cities without a team in MLB, the NBA, NFL or NHL. (Limit one per state; population data from the Census Bureau's 2014 estimates.)

[The following text appears within a map. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual map.]

CITY POPULATION

1. AUSTIN 912,791

Longhorns are pro sports without the pros.

2. LAS VEGAS 613,599

A team in U.S. gambling capital? Bet on it.

3. LOUISVILLE 612,780

Louisville men's hoops already most profitable in sport, to say nothing of UK

4. ALBUQUERQUE 557,169

Would be a bad break for the Triple A Isotopes.

5. TUCSON 527,972

Phoenix has teams in all four leagues.

6. FRESNO 515,986

Even without expansion, a new home for Oakland's Raiders or A's?

7. VIRGINIA BEACH 450,980

Don't tell Peter Angelos about this.

8. OMAHA 446,599

Call them the Oracles.

9. COLORADO SPRINGS 445,830

Already home of USOC's training center.

10. TULSA 399,682

Wichita, Honolulu are next in line.

MAP