Jerome Bettis carries the ball for the Rams in 1994, the last season the team… (Stephen Dunn / Allsport )
Among the professional sports teams that relocated after at least three decades in a city, the Sonics are the only NBA franchise to do so. In the vast majority of cases, it was the promise of a better ballpark, stadium or arena in the new city that inspired the move.
Team, years; League; Span; Relocated to
Brooklyn Dodgers, 1884-1957; MLB; 73; Los Angeles
New York Giants, 1884-57; MLB; 73; San Francisco
Washington Senators, 1901-60; MLB; 59; Minneapolis
Philadelphia Athletics, 1901-54; MLB; 53; Kansas City
St. Louis Browns, 1902-53; MLB; 51; Baltimore
Los Angeles Rams, 1946-94; NFL; 49; St. Louis
Seattle Sonics, 1967-08; NBA; 41; Oklahoma City
Boston Braves, 1912-52; MLB; 40; Milwaukee
Chicago Cardinals, 1920-60; NFL; 40; St. Louis
Houston Oilers, 1960-96; NFL; 37; Nashville
Montreal Expos, 1969-04; MLB; 35; Washington D.C.
Baltimore Colts, 1953-83; NFL; 31; Indianapolis