St Louis Rams are not the first to up sticks and move

A big story from across the pond this week has been St Louis Rams’ decision to move back to Los Angeles, trekking a near 2,000 miles from their current location.

The Rams aren’t new to moving however, having left Cleveland in 1946 for a 36-year stint in LA.

They then moved to Anaheim in 1980, and lastly St Louis in 1995.

That switch in 1995 was incidentally the last time LA had an NFL franchise and a host of teams have enquired about relocating to the west coast.

Understandably it hasn’t gone down well with Rams fans, but history shows even the biggest moves can work out rather well…

LA Lakers

This is often a good pub quiz question. Where did the LA Lakers move from in 1961?

The answer of course is Minneapolis, with Minnesota being the land of 10,000 lakes (there aren’t quite so many lakes in LA).

The Lakers had won five NBA titles prior to the move, but with finances and attendances floundering, owner Bob Short moved the struggling franchise 2,000 miles west having seen the success of the MLB’s Brooklyn Dodgers’ similar move in 1958.

Today the LA Lakers can claim a further 11 NBA Championships to their name, in addition to being one of the globe’s most successful and recognisable teams.


They may be one half of north London, but Arsenal spent the first 27 years of their existence on the other side of the river as Woolwich Arsenal.

Businessman Henry Norris bought the then-south London club in 1910, and sought to find pastures new with the Gunners struggling to achieve success.

A site was found in the Highbury area of north London and Arsenal moved in 1913, a year later they dropped ‘Woolwich’ and things haven’t been too bad since.

MK Dons

A controversial entry. In 2002 it was announced Wimbledon were to move over 50 miles outside of London to Milton Keynes and by 2004 the club were playing as MK Dons, and have done ever since.

While that team has held a presence in the Football League, thousands of dissatisfied Dons formed their own club, and a succession of promotions led to AFC Wimbledon’s current place in League 2.


The Rugby Union side are no strangers to a move, counting Finchley Road, Sudbury and Loftus Road among their former homes.

A successful spell at Wycombe’s Adams Park saw the then-named London Wasps claim two Heineken Cups and four Premiership titles.

But seeing a chance to move into a bigger, more modern stadium, Wasps dropped their London prefix after 15 years in 2014, and purchased the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Having begun their life in the capital, the club now play their home games 100 miles outside it.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.