Jan 122012

Below is a listing of the first official major pro football game played in each state.

Note: An official football game is one that counts in the standings.

Leagues Included: NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69)

First Official Major Pro Football Game Played in Each State

Columns can be sorted by clicking on the titles in the header.

ALBirmingham19689/22New York JetsatBoston Patriots47-31
AZTempe19889/12Dallas CowboysatPhoenix Cardinals17-14
CASan Francisco19469/8New York YankeesatSan Francisco 49ers21-7
COColorado Springs193912/3Cleveland RamsvsPhiladelphia Eagles35-13
CTNew Haven192012/5Canton BulldogsatWashington Glee Club *0-0
DCWashington192111/27Canton BulldogsatWashington Senators15-0
FLMiami194610/8San Francisco 49ersatMiami Seahawks34-7
GAAtlanta19669/11Los Angeles RamsatAtlanta Falcons19-14
ILRock Island19209/26Rock Island IndependentsvsSt. Paul Ideals *48-0
INFort Wayne192010/17Fort Wayne Friars *vsColumbus Panhandles14-0
KYLouisville192112/4Columbus PanhandlesatLouisville Brecks6-0
LANew Orleans193812/4Cleveland RamsatPittsburgh Pirates13-7
MABoston192512/9Providence Steam RollervsChicago Bears9-6
MDBaltimore19479/7Baltimore ColtsvsBrooklyn Dodgers16-7
MIDetroit192010/10Detroit HeraldsvsCleveland Panthers *40-14
MNMinneapolis192011/14Decatur StaleysatMinneapolis Marines *3-0
MOSaint Louis192310/14Hammond ProsatSt. Louis All-Stars0-0
NCCharlotte19969/1Carolina PanthersvsAtlanta Falcons29-6
NJEast Orange19299/29New York GiantsatOrange Tornadoes0-0
NYBuffalo192010/3Buffalo All-AmericansvsWest Buffalo *32-6
NYRochester192010/3Rochester JeffersonsvsAll Buffalo *10-0
OHAkron192010/3Akron ProsvsWheeling Stogies *43-0
OHCanton192010/3Canton BulldogsvsPitcairn Quakers *48-0
OHDayton192010/3Dayton TrianglesvsColumbus Panhandles14-0
PAPhiladelphia192012/11Union A.A. *atCanton Bulldogs13-7
RIProvidence192510/11Providence Steam RollervsNew York Giants14-0
SCClemson19959/17St. Louis RamsatCarolina Panthers31-10
TNMemphis19978/31Tennessee OilersvsOakland Raiders24-21
TXDallas19529/28New York GiantsatDallas Texans24-6
VARichmond192012/18Canton BulldogsatRichmond Athletics39-0
WASeattle19769/12St. Louis CardinalsatSeattle Seahawks30-24
WIGreen Bay192110/23Green Bay PackersvsMinneapolis Marines7-6
WVCharleston193811/20Philadelphia EaglesvsPittsburgh Pirates14-7

* Non-league team

The states of Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming have never hosted an official major pro football game.


In 1920, NFL (APFA) games vs. non-league opponents counted in the league’s standings. Thus a handful of states (CT, IL, IN, MI, MN, NY, OH, & PA) had their first official major pro football game involve a non-league opponent. Listed below are the first official league vs. league games in those states.

First Official Pro Football Game (League vs. League) Played in Each State

Applicable Cases (see above)

Columns can be sorted by clicking on the titles in the header.

CTHartford192511/26Kansas City CowboysatCleveland Bulldogs17-0
ILRock Island192010/3Rock Island IndependentsvsMuncie Flyers45-0
INEvansville192110/2Evansville Crimson GiantsvsLouisville Brecks21-0
MIDetroit192010/24Detroit HeraldsvsColumbus Panhandles6-0
MNMinneapolis192110/30Minneapolis MarinesvsColumbus Panhandles28-0
NYBuffalo192010/31Buffalo All-AmericansvsRochester Jeffersons17-6
OHDayton192010/3Dayton TrianglesvsColumbus Panhandles14-0
PAPhiladelphia19249/27Frankford Yellow JacketsvsRochester Jeffersons21-0


First Official NFL Games in the states of California, Florida, and Maryland

The NFL wasn’t the first major professional football league to play official games in the states of California, Florida, or Maryland. That honor goes to the now defunct All-American Football Conference (AAFC). Listed below are the first NFL games in those states.

  • The first NFL game played in the state of California occurred on September 29th, 1946. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Los Angeles Rams 25-14 in Los Angeles.
  • The first NFL game played in the state of Florida occurred on October 3rd, 1970. The Miami Dolphins defeated the Oakland Raiders 20-13 in Miami.
  • The first NFL game played in the state of Maryland occurred on September 17th, 1950. The Washington Redskins defeated the Baltimore Colts 38-14 in Baltimore.


Additional Info

  • The Canton Bulldogs were a participant in the first official major pro football game played in the states of: CT, DC, OH, PA, and VA.
  • The St. Louis Rams were a participant in the first official major pro football game played in: CO, GA, LA, and SC. That’s four states the Rams helped christen into major pro football; more states than any other current NFL team.


Acknowledgement: Game scores retrieved from Pro Football Archives were instrumental in putting together the content above.

Additional Reference: Pro-Football-Reference.com


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