May 022012

The NFL has always been a league on the move. Whether it has been a move to a different metro area or a move within their metro area, 18 of the NFL’s 32 franchises have moved to a different city at some point in their histories.

NFL Franchise Moves

Note: The distance between a team’s former home and new home was calculated from where their stadium is/was located. Distances were calculated by using an Excel formula developed by BlueMM, which finds the distance between two locations using great-circle distance. Stadium coordinates were retrieved from GeoHack.

X = A defunct franchise.

The lists include franchises from the AAFC and AFL.


Franchise Moves to Different Metro Areas

Listed below are the franchises that have “permanently” moved to different metro areas.

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

Bears1921Decatur, IL - (Staleys)Chicago, IL - (Staleys)160
Cardinals1960Chicago, ILSt. Louis, MO260
Cardinals1988St. Louis, MOTempe, AZ - (Phoenix)1263
Chargers1961 (AFL)Los Angeles, CASan Diego, CA111
Chiefs1963 (AFL)Dallas, TX - (Texans)Kansas City, MO - (Chiefs)453
Colts1984Baltimore, MDIndianapolis, IN510
Lions1934Portsmouth, OH - (Spartans)Detroit, MI - (Lions)255
Pottsville MaroonsX1929Pottsville, PABoston, MA - (Bulldogs)290
Raiders1982Oakland, CALos Angeles, CA339
Raiders1995Los Angeles, CAOakland, CA339
Rams1946Cleveland, OHLos Angeles, CA2051
Rams1995Anaheim, CA - (Los Angeles)St. Louis, CA1573
Redskins1937Boston, MAWashington, DC390
Titans / Oilers1997-98 ¹Houston, TXNashville, TN669

¹ In 1997, the Houston Oilers moved to Memphis, TN. This was only a temporary move. In 1998, they permanently moved to Nashville, TN.


Franchise Moves to Cities Within Their Metro Areas

Listed below are the franchises that have “permanently” moved to a different cities within the same metro areas.

Bills1973Buffalo, NYOrchard Park, NY10
Cardinals2006Tempe, AZGlendale, AZ20
Cowboys1971Dallas, TXIrving, TX10
Cowboys2009Irving, TXArlington, TX12
Dolphins1987Miami, FLMiami Gardens, FL12
Giants1973-76 ¹New York, NY - (The Bronx)East Rutherford, NJ8
Jets1984New York, NY - (Queens)East Rutherford, NJ13
Lions1975Detroit, MIPontiac, MI24
Lions2002Pontiac, MIDetroit, MI24
Orange TornadoesX1930Orange, NJNewark, NJ2
Patriots1971Boston, MAFoxborough, MA20
Raiders1962 (AFL)San Francisco, CAOakland, CA9
Rams1980Los Angeles, CAAnaheim, CA28
Redskins1997Washington, DCLandover, MD6
Vikings1982Bloomington, MNMinneapolis, MN8

¹ In 1973-74, the New York Giants temporarily moved to New Haven, CT. Then in 1975, they moved to Shea Stadium in New York City. Finally in 1976, they permanently moved to East Rutherford, NJ.


Moves That  Created New Franchises

Listed below are the moves that have created new franchises, and that have suspended or terminated a franchise (i.e. Cleveland Browns to the Baltimore Ravens).

YearTerminated / SuspendedFromToMiles
1924Toledo MaroonsToledo, OHKenosha, WI - (Maroons)230
1924Canton BulldogsCanton, OHCleveland, OH - (Bulldogs)50
1929Duluth EskimosDuluth, OHOrange, NJ - (Tornadoes)983
1930Dayton TrianglesDayton, OHNew York, NY - (Brooklyn Dodgers)543
1949Boston YanksBoston, MANew York, NY - (Bulldogs)180
1952New York Yanks (Bulldogs)New York, NYDallas, TX - (Texans)1375
1996Cleveland BrownsCleveland, OHBaltimore, MD - (Ravens)307


Sources: League Chronology,


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