The National Football League has been managed from a New York City office building for the last 53 seasons. The league has found NYC to be the ideal location for their business, however, that wasn’t always the case.
For years the league’s headquarters were located by the then commissioner’s/league president’s home. That’s why Columbus and Dayton were once the home to the most powerful office in the NFL.
NFL League Office Locations
|1920||Canton ¹||OH||?||Jim Thorpe (President)|
|1921-1922||Columbus ²||OH||1285 East Long St. (Carr’s home)||Joseph Carr (President)|
|1923-1926||Columbus ²||OH||39 N. 22nd St. (Carr’s home)||Joseph Carr (President)|
|1927-1938||Columbus||OH||16 East Broad St.||Joseph Carr (President)|
|1939-1940||Dayton||OH||Winters Bank Building (Main St.)||Carl Storck (President)|
|1941-1945||Chicago||IL||310 South Michigan Ave.||Elmer Layden|
|1946||Philadelphia||PA||37th St. and Woodland Ave.||Bert Bell|
|1947-1956||Philadelphia||PA||1518 Walnut St.||Bert Bell|
|1957-1959||Bala Cynwyd||PA||1 Bala Ave.||Bert Bell|
|1960-1967||New York||NY||1 Rockefeller Plaza||Pete Rozelle|
|1968-1996||New York||NY||410 Park Ave.||Pete Rozelle / Paul Tagliabue|
|1997-2010||New York||NY||280 Park Ave.||Paul Tagliabue / Roger Goodell|
|2011 –||New York||NY||345 Park Ave.||Roger Goodell|
¹ – The league’s first president was Jim Thorpe; at the same time he was also playing football for the league’s Canton Bulldogs. I’m not sure if Thorpe even had a business office in 1920. If he did it was probably located in Canton, OH. Further research is needed for a definitive answer.
² – From 1921-1926, Joseph Carr managed the league’s business from his house, according to this WBNS-TV article.
American Football League’s headquarters (1960-1969) – The AFL’s first league office was located at the Southland Center building in Dallas, TX, from 1960 to 1962.
In 1963, the AFL moved their headquarters to 609 Fifth Avenue in New York City. That’s the same year the league lost the battle for Dallas in the pro football wars, as the Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs.
With the AFL-NFL merger in place, the two leagues moved into a two-floor NYC office space at 410 Park Avenue in 1968.
All-America Football Conference’s headquarters (1946-1949) – The AAFC was headquartered in New York City’s most famous skyscraper, the Empire State Building in suite 7704.
- The Nutmeg Football League – In the mid-1990s the NFL wanted to move their league office into a larger space. The league reportedly explored real estate options in the following locations: Stamford, CT, Westchester County, NY, and Cherry Hill, NJ.
- That’s what Bell said, but… - In his first month (January 1946) as NFL commissioner, Bert Bell said he would move the league’s office to New York City within at least six weeks. It’s a move that the NFL’s owners wanted, but its a move that Bell never carried out.
Click here for a list of sources I used to compile this research.