Leaving Town

In recent years many English football teams have had new owners. With just one exception; Wimbledon moving to Milton Keynes, the changes in ownership have not resulted in a change in the team’s location. Here in the US, teams do frequently move to new cities and new states.

Last week news broke that a Seattle based group were looking to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move them North to Seattle; this would fill a void in the city left by the 2008 departure of the Seattle Supersonics who became the Oklahoma Thunder. This would not be the Kings first move. They started life as the Rochester Royals, before moving to Kansas in 72 and California in 1985.

The Kings would not be the first team to leave California; the LA Rams moved to St Louis in the nineties, the same year that the other LA NFL team moved back to Oakland after a decade in the South Lands– leaving the country’s second most populous city without an American football team. Oakland’s Ice-Hockey team, The Seals, left in 1976 to become the Cleveland Barons. San Jose lost their football (soccer) team to Houston, although it was replaced by a team with the same name a few years later.

In general, the movement of teams has been in the other direction. The LA Lakers , the Golden State Warriors, the LA Dodgers, the SF Giants, and Oakland A’s all came West from other states.

It is difficult to grasp the impact of a local team that you and your family have supported for generations moving, not to a new stadium on the other side of town, but across the country to a new state. TV coverage makes it possible to still watch games, but that was not the case when the Giants and Dodgers deserted New York for the sunnier climes of SF and LA.

Published in: on 12 January, 2013 at 11:43  Leave a Comment  

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