What if the National Football League expanded to include 100 teams?

It's a wild question to consider, wild enough to warrant an article being written about it on ESPN's website. ESPN's Bill Barnwell asked this query in a story that was posted on Monday morning, and as part of this thought exercise, outlined where each of the remaining 68 NFL teams would be located.

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Albany, the capital city of New York, ended up being included in this newly-imagined NFL. It barely made the cut for the new league --- it was the 100th team chosen out of 100 --- but it made it, and that's all that matters.

Facebook / Albany Empire
Facebook / Albany Empire

In this hypothetical mega-league, Albany would belong in the eight-team New York/New Jersey region. The Bills, Giants and Jets would remain in the NFL, and would be three of the eight teams in said region. Teams would then be introduced into Downtown Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens/Long Island and Albany.

As part of the rationale for including Albany over cities like Syracuse and Rochester, Barnwell said this:

"Albany is 35 miles or so from the Vermont border and could also draw fans from Western Massachusetts. A team that fills in gaps among three different states feels like the appropriate final team for our 100." - Bill Barnwell via ESPN

Washington Valor vs Albany Empire
Gregory J. Fisher-SportsThroughTheLens.com

Now, will this ever *actually* happen?

We can all certainly dream about it, but the chances of an expansion NFL team coming to Albany are slim. That said, Albany/the Capital Region has shown that it can sustain successful football programs in the past.

Think about it for a moment, if you will. The Albany Firebirds were a hit during the 1990's, and the brand was just successfully revived in 2024. The original run of the Albany Empire brought thousands of fans to MVP Arena, and if the league the team belonged to had not disbanded, the potential for that franchise was sky-high.

Add in the success of Greg Gattuso and the UAlbany Great Danes' football team in 2023, and all of a sudden, Albany becomes an increasingly viable home for a new football team.

READ MORE: This $300 Million Project Proposal Will Change Downtown Albany Forever [PHOTOS]

As it currently stands, the proposed stadium in downtown Albany has an assumed capacity of 8,000 people. You'd have to find a way to increase that number to at least 50,000, which is a lot to ask, but is not at all impossible.

If nothing else, it's a fun thought experiment proposed by ESPN, and it allows us to dream about how amazing that would be for sports fans in our area.

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