The Associated Press
A year after the Rams returned to Los Angeles, the Chargers announced they’ll be joining them in L.A. and the Raiders sought permission to move to Las Vegas.
If Mark Davis gets approval, this trio of franchise relocations would represent the largest migration in North America’s sports landscape since the 1990s when the Rams and Raiders abandoned L.A., the Oilers left Texas for Tennessee and the Browns bolted Cleveland for Baltimore.
Some of the notable relocations in the four major sports leagues:
Baseball saw a half century of stability after the original Baltimore Orioles moved to New York in 1903 and eventually became the Yankees. Then, the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953, beginning a six-decade shift.
In ’54, Baltimore got its Orioles back by luring the St. Louis Browns, and the Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City a year later.
The biggest moves came in ’58 when the Dodgers left Ebbets Field in Brooklyn and the Giants abandoned the Polo Grounds for California, taking the game to the West Coast.
The Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins in ’61, and the new Washington Senators and Los Angeles Angels were created as expansion teams. Two more expansion teams arrived in ’62 with the Houston Colt .45s — later renamed the Astros — and the New York Mets.
In ’66, the Braves moved to Atlanta and in ’68, the Athletics relocated to Oakland. In ’70, the Seattle Pilots, one of four expansion teams from the year before (San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos and Kansas City Royals), moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers.
In ’72, the Senators moved to Dallas-Fort Worth to become the Texas Rangers. Seattle would get the expansion Mariners in ’77, when the Toronto Blue Jays also came into existence.
In 2005, the Expos moved to the nation’s capital and became the Nationals.
Pro basketball’s big move came in 1960 when the Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles. While the Lakers thrived in California, the Twin Cities didn’t get another pro team until the Timberwolves’ arrival in 1989.
In ’51, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, who played their home games in Moline, Rock Island and Davenport, moved to Milwaukee and became the Hawks. They’d move twice more, to St. Louis in ’55 and Atlanta in ’68.
In ’57, the Fort Wayne Pistons moved to Detroit and the Rochester Royals moved to Cincinnati.
The Philadelphia Warriors moved to San Francisco in ’62 and a year later, the Chicago Zephyrs became the Baltimore Bullets and the Syracuse Nationals became the Philadelphia 76ers.
The San Diego Rockets relocated to Houston in ’71 and the Cincinnati Royals became the Kansas City-Omaha Kings a year later. The team ceased playing games in Omaha in ’75 and the franchise moved to Sacramento in ’85.
In ’73, the Baltimore Bullets moved to Landover and became the Capital Bullets, then in ’74 the Washington Bullets. The team was renamed the Wizards in ’97.
The Buffalo Braves became the San Diego Clippers in ’78 and a year later New Orleans lost its Jazz to Salt Lake City. In ’84, the Clippers moved to Los Angeles.
That was it until 2001, when the Vancouver Grizzlies moved to Memphis. A year later, the Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans, where they’d eventually become the Pelicans. Charlotte got the expansion Bobcats in ’04 and reclaimed the Hornets name a decade later.
The Seattle SuperSonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder in ’08 and the New Jersey Nets became the Brooklyn Nets four years later.
In the National Football League’s infancy, the Decatur Staleys moved to Chicago in 1921 and became the Bears a year later. In ’34, the Portsmouth Spartans became the Detroit Lions and in ’37, the Boston Redskins became the Washington Redskins.
In ’46, the Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles and the Chicago Cardinals moved to St. Louis in ’60.
Nothing changed until 1982, when Al Davis defiantly moved his Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles.
Two years later, the Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis in the middle of the night.
St. Louis lost the Cardinals to Phoenix in 1988 and seven years later welcomed the Rams the same year the Raiders returned to Oakland.
In ’63, the AFL’s Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs.
The Rams and Raiders left L.A. in ’95, with the Raiders returning to Oakland the Rams going to St. Louis. A year later, the Browns bolted Cleveland for Baltimore and a year after that, the Oilers left Texas for Tennessee.
In the National Hockey League, the California Golden Seals moved from Oakland to Cleveland in 1976 and became the Barons, and the Kansas City Scouts moved to Denver to become the Colorado Rockies. Just two years later, the Barons became the Minnesota North Stars.
The Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary in ’80. Atlanta got an expansion team in ’99, which relocated to Winnipeg in 2011 and became the current version of the Jets. The original Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix in ’96 and became the Coyotes.
In ’82, the Rockies became the New Jersey Devils. In ’93, the North Stars moved to Dallas and became the Stars. Minnesota was awarded the expansion Wild in 2000.
In ’97, the Hartford Whalers moved to Raleigh as the Carolina Hurricanes two years after the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche, who promptly won the Stanley Cup.
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