The Houston Oilers moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1997 to become the Tennessee Oilers, later moving within the state and changing their name to the Titans. That was the last NFL move prior to the Rams move announced on Tuesday night.
Since the last NFL franchise relocated in 1997, each major professional sport has had at least one franchise relocate and change its name to reflect that move.
Here's a sport-by-sport recap.
NBA: Four NBA franchises have moved and changed names.
2001: Vancouver Grizzlies move to Memphis, become Memphis Grizzlies
In 2001, the Vancouver Grizzlies moved to Memphis. They went 23-59 in 2000-01, their final season in Vancouver. In 2001-02, their inaugural season in Memphis? A 23-59 record again. They've since improved quite a bit. They entered this season with three straight 50-win seasons.
2002: Charlotte Hornets move to New Orleans, become Pelicans in 2013
One year after the Grizzlies moved, the Charlotte Hornets flew to New Orleans. The franchise moved to New Orleans following the 2001-02 season. The franchise, which had been an expansion team starting in 1988-89, has been in New Orleans ever since – aside from a two-year stint in Oklahoma City (in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons) following Hurricane Katrina.
The NBA returned to Charlotte, North Carolina, with a new expansion franchise in 2004-05, the Charlotte Bobcats, and that franchise re-branded back to the Hornets in 2014-15. The old Charlotte Hornets records returned with the name as well. The New Orleans Hornets are now the Pelicans.
2008: Seattle SuperSonics move to Oklahoma City, become Thunder
Following the 2007-08 season, the SuperSonics bid Seattle adieu and moved to Oklahoma City -– which had hosted the Hornets the two seasons prior. Before moving, the SuperSonics had finished below .500 in five of the six previous seasons. Their first season in Oklahoma City yielded 23 wins, but since then, they’ve finished above .500 in six straight seasons and had made the playoffs in five straight until last season.
2012: New Jersey Nets move to Brooklyn, New York, become Brooklyn Nets
After playing in New Jersey since 1977-78 and making 16 playoff appearances, the Nets moved to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season. Their move was a big one for the borough; the Nets became the first major professional sports team in Brooklyn since the Dodgers went west following the 1957 season. It also meant that New York was once again a two-team city by name in the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB.
MLB: One MLB franchise moved and changed names
2005: Montreal Expos move to Washington, become Nationals
After 35 years in the National League and one playoff appearance – with their best season cut short by the players’ strike in 1994 (.649 win percentage in 114 games played) – the Canada-based team headed to the United States’ capital. It was the first relocation in baseball since the Washington Senators moved to Arlington, Texas, before the 1972 season to become the Texas Rangers.
NHL: One NHL franchise moved and changed names
2011: Atlanta Thrashers move to Winnipeg, Manitoba, become Jets
After 12 years in Atlanta (11 NHL seasons with the 2004-05 lockout), the Thrashers grabbed their passports and headed northwest -– to Winnipeg. The Thrashers made one playoff appearance in their tenure down south. The franchise’s move to Winnipeg filled the void opened in 1996 when the original Jets left for Phoenix -– a year before those Houston Oilers headed to Tennessee.
Also worth noting: The Hartford Whalers played their final game in Connecticut on April 13, 1997 – a few months before the Tennessee Oilers’ first game. The Whalers’ move had been announced late in the 1996-97 season.