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5 Cities that undeservingly lost an NFL team feat. St. Louis and Oakland

Las Vegas Raiders fans, The Black Hole
Las Vegas Raiders fans, The Black Hole

NFL teams are a major part of the overall culture within the city they call home. Local fans often make their home team a part of their daily lives while also attending games during the NFL season. The team provides a major boost to their city's economy and gives them an identity, among many other benefits.

While most teams are loved by their home city in general, that doesn't always make them a permanent fixture. Relocation of different NFL franchises has been a factor since the very beginning when the league was first created. Here are five major cities who disappointingly lost their home NFL teams after they moved to a new location.

#1 - Houston Oilers

Houston Oilers v Atlanta Falcons
Houston Oilers v Atlanta Falcons

The Houston Oilers played their home games at the Astrodome, but owner Bud Adams was seeking a new home stadium. After being denied by the city of Houston, he was given approval by Nashville to build one in their city. This sparked the decision to move the franchise for the first time since 1960.

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The Houston Oilers became the Tennessee Oilers in 1996 before eventually becoming the Tennessee Titans in 1999. Three years later, in 2002, the Houston Texans played their first season as an expansion team, giving the city a new franchise.

#2 - St. Louis Rams and Cardinals

Stan Kroenke lifts the Vince Lombardi trophy
Stan Kroenke lifts the Vince Lombardi trophy

St. Louis received its first NFL team when the Cardinals moved there from Chicago in 1960. The Cardinals then moved to Phoenix in 1987 and would eventually become the Arizona Cardinals in 2006.

"I hate Stan Kroenke.. I can't stand that guy because he took the Rams from St. Louis" ~@patmaroon#PMSLive https://t.co/Z4n5MmYWZj

The next time St. Louis received a team was in 1995 when the Rams relocated there from Los Angeles. The Rams remained there for 21 seasons before eventually moving back to Los Angeles again in 2016. St. Louis is still waiting for another NFL team after losing two of them.

#3 - Baltimore Colts

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay

The Baltimore Colts' move to Indianapolis is one of the most bizarre relocation stories in NFL history. The ownership group, including Robert and Jim Irsay, negotiated the deal in secret. They apparently never let anyone know about it until after it was done, including the NFL league office.

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The Colts literally moved their entire franchise in the middle of the night in 1984, abandoning Baltimore to accept a discreet offer in Indianapolis. The move broke several NFL rules and protocols, but the league office decided not to dispute the move in federal court. This allowed the sneaky move to Indianapolis stand, where the Colts have remained ever since.

#4 - Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis
Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis

The late Al Davis is one of the most controversial owners in sports history. He took it upon himself to move the Raiders from their home in Oakland to the city of Los Angeles in 1982. This was despite the NFL denying his request to do so. Davis and former commissioner Pete Rozelle were locked in a legal battle for many years, which Davis eventually won.

A second trailer for the 30 for 30 airing Feb. 4 on Al Davis’ long-running feud with then NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle as he searched for a permanent stadium for the Raiders. https://t.co/fdw1tBGOdm #vegas #raiders #RaiderNation

The Raiders remained in Los Angeles until 1995 before moving back to Oakland again. In 2020 they became the first franchise ever to leave their original home city twice. They relocated again and became the Las Vegas Raiders. Al Davis' son Mark Davis made the move happen this time around.

#5 - San Diego Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos
Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos

The Chargers franchise was founded in 1960 in Los Angeles, technically making it their original home. But they only stayed there for one year. San Diego was much more their home, and they spent 55 seasons as the only major professional sports team in the city.

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Despite their deep roots in San Diego, the Chargers relocated to Los Angeles in 2017. This was after failing to secure a deal with the city for a new stadium in San Diego. They now share the SoFi Stadium with the Los Angeles Rams.

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Edited by John Maxwell
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