The History Of Relocation In The NFL

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Thursday, the Chargers made it official: They’re bolting San Diego for Los Angeles.

After a quiet couple of decades, it’s the second year in a row an NFL team is relocating — both, coincidentally, have been to the City of Angels.

Here’s a look at the history of franchises that are still in today’s NFL seeking greener pastures:

• In 1921, the Decatur Staleys of the American Professional Football Association moved to Chicago. After a year in the Windy City, they changed their name to the Bears and the AFPA became known as the National Football League.

George Halas (public domain)

Chicago Bears coach and player George Halas in 1921.

• In 1934, the Portsmouth Spartans (that’s in Ohio) relocated to Detroit and changed their named to the Lions.

• In 1937, the Boston Redskins moved to Washington. They beat the Bears 28-21 in the NFL championship game that year.

• In 1946, a year after winning the NFL title, the Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles. The L.A. Rams would be more than 2,000 miles away from the nearest team.

• In 1960, overshadowed by the Bears in Chicago, the Chicago Cardinals relocated to St. Louis.

• In 1961, after just one season in Los Angeles, the Chargers of the American Football League moved to San Diego.

• In 1963, the AFL’s Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and were renamed the Chiefs.

• In 1982, after a lengthy legal battle with the NFL, Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis moved his franchise to Los Angeles.

1982 LA Raiders

Los Angeles Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett drops back to pass during a game in 1982 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Photo by: Getty Images/Getty Images)

• In 1984, owner Robert Irsay moved the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis on Mayflower trucks in the middle of the night.

• In 1988, the St. Louis Cardinals moved for the second time — this time to Phoenix.

• In 1994, Los Angeles had two teams. By 1995, it had none. The Rams moved to St. Louis, and the Raiders headed back to Oakland.

• In 1996, Art Modell moved his Cleveland Browns to Baltimore and renamed them the Ravens. The Cleveland Browns were reborn as an expansion team in 1999.

Cleveland Browns 1995

On Nov. 5, 1995, fans of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Stadium bemoan the fact their team is moving to a different city. The Oilers defeated the Browns on this day 37-10. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart/Allsport

• In 1997, the Oilers left Houston for Tennessee a year ahead of schedule because fans in Texas abandoned the outbound franchise. They played one season in Memphis before moving to their new permanent home of Nashville, where they were renamed the Titans.

• In 2016, Rams owner Stan Kroenke, unhappy with the team’s stadium situation in St. Louis, moved the franchise back to Los Angeles. The Rams, who are temporarily calling the Memorial Coliseum home, and Chargers, who will play at the MLS Galaxy’s StubHub Center, will share a brand-new stadium in Inglewood beginning in 2019.

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