The Oakland Raiders are officially the Las Vegas Raiders, with the franchise displaying that name on its team website. Las Vegas is the latest city to gain an NFL team due to relocation over the past few seasons, after Los Angeles added two with the Los Angeles Rams (from St. Louis in 2016) and Los Angeles Chargers (from San Diego in 2017).
Eleven NFL franchises have had a location change in the league's history, with each making a significant impact on the organization. Several franchises have changed names and/or locations multiple times: The Raiders' move to Las Vegas is their third, as you'll see below. We've even seen a move lead to a championship a few seasons after the relocation.
A move often seems to reinvigorate the organization, a clean slate needed to awaken from NFL doldrums (at least in recent years). Here's a look at all 11 NFL franchises that have relocated over the years, from most recent to furthest back. Sixteen total moves are listed, but they include repeat moves by the Rams (three times), Chargers (twice) and Raiders (two, plus the latest to Vegas):
Los Angeles Chargers (2017), from San Diego
The Chargers left San Diego after 56 seasons, with the franchise initially starting in the AFL as the Los Angeles Chargers. The team played three seasons at its temporary home at Digital Health Sports Park in Carson, with the opposing fanbases dominating the tiny stadium for home games.
The Chargers never won a Super Bowl in San Diego, but won the AFL championship in 1963. Since the move to Los Angeles, the Chargers have two winning seasons (including a playoff win) and changed the primary home jerseys from navy blue to powder blue. They will play in the new SoFi Stadium, sharing it with the Los Angeles Rams, starting in 2020.
Los Angeles Rams (2016), from St. Louis
The Rams moved back to Los Angeles after owner Stan Kroenke paid a $550 million fee to move the team out of St. Louis, where it was baed since the 1995 season. We'll get to the first move from Los Angeles to St. Louis in a bit, but the move to Los Angeles was based on the promise of a new state-of-the-art stadium.
The NFL returned to Los Angeles for the first time since 1994. The Rams traded up to the no. 1 pick and selected Jared Goff and reached the Super Bowl just three seasons after relocating. They won their first NFC Championship since 2001, while changing the helmet to blue and white (making the ram horn white). They will unveil new uniforms in 2020.
Tennessee Titans (1997), from Houston
The Houston Oilers were one of the AFL's initial franchises, but owner Bud Adams became disillusioned with Houston and the Astrodome, wanting a new stadium for his franchise. Nashville was willing to build one and the Oilers were on their way, despite having a lease with the Astrodome until the end of the 1997 season.
The franchise was the Tennessee Oilers for two seasons, before changing its name to the Tennessee Titans in 1999, when the new stadium was completed. The Titans went to the franchise's first Super Bowl that season, falling one-yard short of forcing overtime against the St. Louis Rams. That remains the Oilers/Titans lone Super Bowl appearance.
Baltimore Ravens (1996), from Cleveland
Art Modell's controversial move was born from Baltimore's desperation to get an NFL team after the Colts departed for Indianapolis in 1984. Cleveland did not have the funds to build a first-class stadium, as Municipal Stadium was on its last leg.
Fans filed a lawsuit against Modell for getting out of his lease early. The NFL cut a deal with the Browns to keep the name, logo and colors, which Cleveland kept when it was given a new franchise in 1999 as a "continuation" of the Browns.
The Ravens started playing in their new stadium in 1998 after two years in Memorial Stadium. The Ravens won the Super Bowl five seasons after moving to Baltimore, something Modell failed to accomplish in Cleveland (which still doesn't have a championship since 1964).
St. Louis Rams (1995), from Los Angeles
Los Angeles had no plans to build a stadium and owner Georgia Frontiere needed money, thanks to horrible attendance in Anaheim. St. Louis needed a team after the Cardinals moved from St. Louis to Arizona in 1988. St. Louis had a new stadium built and was one of the most profitable teams in the league in its early years.
The Rams won the Super Bowl in 1999 -- the franchise's first championship since 1951 -- in just their fifth season in St. Louis. The next season, the Rams underwent a uniform overhaul for the first time since the 1960s, going to a darker shade of blue and gold.
Oakland Raiders (1995), from Los Angeles
Thirteen seasons after moving from Oakland to Los Angeles, the Raiders moved back to Oakland. Al Davis signed an agreement to move the franchise back after plans fell through regarding promises of renovations to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. A new stadium in Hollywood Park wasn't built and Davis moved back to where the franchise started -- until now, 25 years later, as it moves to greener pastures with a new stadium in Vegas.
Phoenix Cardinals (1988), from St. Louis
The Cardinals were second fiddle in their own city, so Bill Bidwell moved his losing franchise after 27 seasons in St. Louis. Bidwell didn't want to play in a baseball stadium, so the franchise moved to Tempe in 1988. The Cardinals didn't get a new stadium in Arizona until 2006 and changed the name from Phoenix Cardinals to Arizona Cardinals in 1994 due to fan preference.
Indianapolis Colts (1984), from Baltimore
In the most controversial move in NFL history, Colts owner Bob Irsay moved the Colts from Baltimore to Indianapolis in the middle of the night. Irsay, who notoriously had a quick fuse, struck a quick deal with Indianapolis to get out of Baltimore after renovations were not made to Memorial Stadium.
The Maryland state legislature passed a law allowing the city of Baltimore to seize the Colts from Irsay, which drove the owner to relocate the franchise. The Colts had a new stadium in place in the RCA Dome (originally Hoosier Dome), which is where they called home for 23 years before Lucas Oil Stadium was build.
Los Angeles Raiders (1982), from Oakland
Al Davis relocated the Raiders to play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (which had just lost the Rams), moving them from the city they played in since the franchise's inception in 1960. Davis wanted luxury boxes and renovations to the Oakland Coliseum, but did not get his wish.
The NFL attempted to block Davis' Raiders relocation, but the owner moved anyway. The league filed an injunction and David filed an antitrust lawsuit in continuation to the antitrust lawsuit filed against him. The first case was ruled a mistrial, but a second jury ruled in favor of Davis and the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The Raiders won the Super Bowl in their second season in Los Angeles, where they spent 13 seasons before moving back to Oakland.
Other NFL franchises to relocate (all prior to the AFL-NFL merger in 1970)
1961: Los Angeles Chargers move to San Diego after one season in L.A.
1960: Chicago Cardinals move to St. Louis after 39 seasons in Chicago.
1946: Cleveland Rams move to Los Angeles after eight seasons in Cleveland, after winning the NFL championship in 1945 (still the only team to move a year after winning a title).
1937: Boston Redskins move to Washington D.C. after five seasons in Boston.
1921: Decatur Staleys become the Chicago Bears, moving to Chicago after three seasons in Decatur, Illinois. The football team grew in popularity and wanted to play in a larger market.