SBD/Issue 13/The Back of the Book

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  • Migration Flight: Big Four Team Relocations Since 1972

    MLB last relocated a franchise in '72, when the Washington Senators moved to Arlington and became the Texas Rangers. Since then, the NFL, NBA and NHL have seen 23 relocations. Most have brought an increase in attendance for the franchise immediately after the move. The following presents an attendance breakdown of team relocations since '72 (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, issue 9/27).

    TEAM RELOCATIONS AND AVG. ATTENDANCE SINCE 1972
    AVG. ATTENDANCE
    YEAR OF RELOCATION^ TEAM^^ OLD MARKET NEW MARKET
    LAST YEAR, OLD MARKET
    FIRST YEAR, NEW MARKET
    % +/-
    MLB
    2005 Montreal Expos Montreal Washington, DC
    9,013 ^^^
    NA
    NA
    1972 Texas Rangers Washington, DC Dallas
    8,088
    8,840
    9.3%
    NFL
    1997 Tennessee Titans Houston Nashville+
    31,825
    28,095
    -11.7%
    1996 Baltimore Ravens Cleveland Baltimore
    64,049
    58,958
    -7.9%
    1995 St. Louis Rams Los Angeles St. Louis
    42,312
    62,061
    46.7%
    1995 Oakland Raiders Los Angeles Oakland
    52,719
    52,922
    0.4%
    1988 Arizona Cardinals St. Louis Phoenix
    27,821
    59,117
    112.5%
    1984 Indianapolis Colts Baltimore Indianapolis
    41,968
    60,163
    43.4%
    1982 Oakland Raiders Oakland Los Angeles
    48,989
    56,798
    15.9%
    NBA
    2002 New Orleans Hornets Charlotte New Orleans
    11,286
    15,651
    38.7%
    2001 Memphis Grizzlies Vancouver Memphis
    13,737
    14,415
    4.9%
    1985 Sacramento Kings Kansas City Sacramento
    6,408
    10,333
    61.3%
    1984 L.A. Clippers San Diego Los Angeles
    5,578
    9,369
    68.0%
    1979 Utah Jazz New Orleans Salt Lake City
    8,883
    7,821
    -12.0%
    1978 L.A. Clippers Buffalo San Diego
    6,158
    7,605
    23.5%
    1973 Washington Wizards Baltimore Washington, DC
    6,431
    10,102
    57.1%
    1973 San Antonio Spurs Dallas San Antonio
    2,395
    6,153
    156.9%
    1972 Sacramento Kings Cincinnati Kansas City
    3,688
    6,387
    73.2%
    NHL
    1997 Carolina Hurricanes Hartford, CT Raleigh +
    13,657
    9,108
    -33.3%
    1996 Phoenix Coyotes Winnipeg Phoenix
    11,316
    15,587
    37.7%
    1995 Colorado Avalanche Quebec Denver
    14,395
    16,017
    11.3%
    1993 Dallas Stars Minneapolis Dallas
    13,910
    16,119
    15.9%
    1982 New Jersey Devils Denver East Rutherford, NJ
    8,180
    12,489
    52.7%
    1980 Calgary Flames Atlanta Calgary
    10,024
    7,217
    -28.0%
    1976 New Jersey Devils Kansas City Denver
    7,356++
    8,550
    16.2%

    NOTES: ^ = For NFL clubs, year refers to the first year the team played in its new market. ^^ = Current franchise name. ^^^ = Expos' average attendance through Tuesday, September 28 (80 games). + = Franchise played temporarily in another in-state market (Titans: Memphis; Hurricanes: Greensboro, NC) before moving to this permanent home in a later season. ++ = For the '74-75 season. Attendance for the '75-76 season was not available. NA = Not applicable.

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