Proctor city council member wants to bring an NFL team back to Duluth


A city council member from the northern Minnesota town of Proctor wants a National Football League franchise and stadium in the Twin Ports.

According to the Northland's News Center, Proctor city council member, Travis White, will propose a pair of resolutions at Monday evening's city council meeting aimed at bringing an NFL franchise to the North Shore.

The first resolution would attempt to attract an NFL franchise the second would build an accompanying stadium.

Sound crazy? Maybe, but not as crazy as you might think. It was a different era in the NFL and long before Norm VanBrocklin patrolled the sidelines of Met Stadium as the first coach of the Minnesota Vikings in 1961, the North Shore did have an NFL team.

"This area has a rich history of ties to the NFL and I believe, because of that history, we have the potential to return the NFL back to this area," White said in an email to the television station.

The Duluth Kelleys, later the Duluth Eskimos, played five seasons in the NFL. Pro Football notes the franchise was 16-20-3 during those seasons.

With a schedule that included games against the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Detroit Panthers, Pottsville Maroons, Kansas City Cowboys and Canton Bulldogs amongst others, the Eskimos were a full-fledged member of the early NFL days.

Though things are different in the NFL today. The league's last expansion team was the Houston Texans in 2002 and there doesn't appear to be an appetite for it now, according to this ESPN report from March.

"At this point, the NFL has reached a saturation point and though an expansion franchise would mean expansion fees, those fees would have to be astronomical to help offset the decreased size of the piece of the pie that 32 teams currently share."

The city council meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday.

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