As many have come to realize, Mexico is a very prominent sporting nation. It's known primarily for soccer, which (to no one's surprise) is the most popular sport in the country - and in most countries around the world. However, through strong performance in international sports, budding local traditions, and integration with U.S. leagues, Mexico's sporting scene has expanded well beyond soccer, particularly in the last decade or two.
Because of this, it stands to reason that the country should have an even bigger place than it does on the international scene. Granted, Mexico is set to co-host the World Cup with the United States and Canada in 2026, which should help to raise the country's profile on the international sports scene. In the meantime though, we wrote about some teams and events that the country deserves to have at this point, and which would further involve Mexico with international competition.
An NBA Team
Of all the ideas listed here, an NBA team in Mexico may be the most inevitable. Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been open about his desire to expand the league internationally, even if nothing is imminent. And the case for international basketball franchises was just strengthened significantly when the Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship. This was the first time a team outside of the U.S. has won the title, and even if most of the Raptors' players are still American, it should do wonders for the international game. Just imagine, for instance, what might be accomplished by a whole generation of Canadian children who just watched their nation rally around a team that conquered the NBA! Again, nothing is imminent regarding Mexico, though it's worth noting that NBA veteran Mason Plumlee actually spoke out about the idea in the aftermath of Toronto 's title, stating in no uncertain terms that the NBA should put a franchise in Mexico City. We couldn't agree more.
An NFL Team
For the most part, the idea of an NFL team in Mexico City has actually been talked about more than the NBA idea. This is likely because the NFL has actually had occasional exhibition games south of the American border. More because of the NFL's much-publicized, annual London games, there's been quite a bit of talk about this league expanding abroad as well. However, Mexico seems to be behind Europe in terms of priorities, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell seems as if he may be less inclined than Silver to actually make it happen. Nevertheless, it's easy to imagine Mexico City rallying behind a professional football team in a big way, and it's about time American football moves beyond the U.S.
A NASCAR Race
This one also seems like a distinct possibility, in part because Mexico is already used to hosting major races. Most notably, there is a Mexican Grand Prix on the Formula 1 series, currently, and this event in Mexico City may be bigger than people realize. According to a U.S. betting guide to F1, this league actually has one of the largest numbers of worldwide followers of any sport - meaning it brings a lot of eyes to Mexico once a year. NASCAR, however, may be even bigger in this part of the world, or at least in the U.S. It's trickled into Mexico through the Peak Series and some makeshift events, but a full, official NASCAR race in the country would be wonderful to behold.
An ATP Tour Masters 1000 Tournament
Lastly, it would also be a lot of fun to see professional tennis invest more in Mexico. To be fair, there is such a thing as the Mexico Open, in Acapulco, and its status as a Masters 500 tournament means it's not insignificant. However, the tournament gets good attendance and attracts a lot of major players, which means Mexico could be ready for more. The country should be a candidate if and when the ATP Tour looks into expanding its Masters 1000 schedule. These are the biggest tournaments (in terms of scope and prize money) aside from the four Grand Slams, and there's no doubt Mexico can support one.