SBD/Issue 13/The Back of the Book

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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