Nevada's major city, Las Vegas, more than qualifies for at least one major league team, as its population has exploded in the last 10 years. However, the major leagues have always been apprehensive of Las Vegas' gambling reputation, and the possibility that if Las Vegas had a franchise, illegal gambling would rise among the players and staff. Also, Nevada's overall population remains below that of any state hosting a major league team. Still, all four leagues have explored the possibility of adding a team in Las Vegas. The city hosted the NBA All-Star Game in February 2007, in part to convince NBA officials that the city will support a team. Sports fans, mainly Las Vegas-area natives, support Phoenix teams, any Los Angeles or San Diego teams, San Francisco Bay Area or Sacramento teams, Seattle teams, Oregon teams, Denver teams, Utah teams (a large Mormon population is found in the city and state), and a large college team following as well. In the more recent years, the Las Vegas population has been found to have many fans from teams all over the United States, Mexico and Canada, due to the diverse population of residents from all over North America moving to rapidly growing Las Vegas.
Alaska and Hawaii have never had a major league team, mainly due to their distance from the U.S. mainland, and that the states were admitted to the union in 1959, when most of the major sports leagues were emerging leagues. While Anchorage, Alaska's chances of getting a team are very slim, due to its relatively small population, unattractive cold climate, and undersized venues, Honolulu, Hawaii has adequate population and large enough venues to host a team. Honolulu used to be home to a WFL franchise, and currently hosts the annual NFL Pro Bowl. Nowadays, most of Hawaii's population tends to support Los Angeles or San Francisco Bay Area teams, and Alaska's population tends to support either Seattle teams or Western Canadian-based teams such as the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers.
If the unique situation of the Hornets is discounted, the latest addition becomes Connecticut, after the NHL's Hartford Whalers moved to North Carolina in 1997. Though fan support for a return to Hartford is big, issues have risen over arena quality, cash, and lack of interest from potential team owners. The Connecticut Sun WNBA team does play in the state, but the WNBA is not considered a major sports league.
Currently, two states have only one major league sports team. Coincidentally, both of these teams are in the NBA, which led the other leagues in expansion to fast-growing Western U.S. markets such as Phoenix and Seattle. The states are Oregon (the Portland Trail Blazers) and Utah (the Utah Jazz). Each team is healthy enough to remain in its current location, and Utah was viable enough to support the creation of the Real Salt Lake franchise of Major League Soccer.
In place of major league teams, college, minor league, and high school teams enjoy quite a lot of attention, such as high school football teams throughout Alabama, The University of Alabama football and basketball, Nebraska's college football team, Kentucky's college basketball team, and so on.
Of course, many states without professional team sports still boast celebrated sports institutions (e.g. Churchill Downs in Kentucky, boxing in Nevada, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska, the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii). This list also does not take into account NASCAR — the second-most watched spectator sport in the US, behind NFL football. Several states without major sports teams do host NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including Alabama, Delaware, Kansas, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Virginia.
NOTE: The asterisk denotes a state that used to have a team in one of the major leagues; see below.