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List of defunct National Football League franchises

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Membership in the National Football League (NFL) is certified by a franchise. A franchise is awarded by the league to each member club and serves as the league's authorization to operate as a professional football club in their city. Franchises award member clubs the exclusive right to hold professional football games between league members within a 75-mile radius of their city as well as the exclusive rights to market games in their area.[1] There are currently 32 clubs in the league, and new members can only be approved with the support of 3/4s of current members.[2] In the case of egregious misbehavior, a club's franchise can be revoked or suspended by the league's commissioner.[3]

The NFL has had a total of 49 franchises become defunct over its history; this includes ten of the league's twelve founding members, with only the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals surviving to the present day.[4] By 1926, the league had expanded to 22 franchises, but a league meeting in April 1927 led to the decision to revoke the franchises of the clubs in the weakest financial situations; 10 franchises were ultimately revoked.[5]

Five defunct NFL franchises (the Akron Pros/Indians, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Bulldogs/Indians, Frankford Yellow Jackets, and Providence Steam Roller) had previously won NFL championships. The most recent franchise to become defunct was the Dallas Texans, which folded in 1952 after one season in the league.[6]

Defunct franchises

Symbol Meaning
Club The organization awarded a franchise by the NFL
City The city the club played in
Began play The year the club was awarded a franchise
Folded The year the club folded
^ Denotes the club had won an NFL championship before folding[7]
List of defunct NFL franchises
Club City Began play Folded Ref(s)
Akron Pros/Indians^ Akron, Ohio 1920[A] 1926 [6][7]
Baltimore Colts Baltimore, Maryland 1950[B] 1950 [6]
Pottsville Maroons/Boston Bulldogs Pottsville, Pennsylvania (1925-1928)
Boston, Massachusetts (1929)
1925 1929 [6]
Boston Yanks Boston, Massachusetts 1943 1948 [6]
Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers Brooklyn, New York 1930 1944 [6]
Brooklyn Lions Brooklyn, New York 1926 1926 [6]
Buffalo All-Americans/Bisons/Rangers Buffalo, New York 1920[A] 1929[C] [6]
Canton Bulldogs^ Canton, Ohio 1920[A] 1926[D] [6][7]
Chicago Tigers Chicago, Illinois 1920 1920 [6]
Cincinnati Celts Cincinnati, Ohio 1921 1921 [6]
Cincinnati Reds Cincinnati, Ohio 1933 1934 [6]
Cleveland Tigers/Indians Cleveland, Ohio 1920[A] 1921 [6]
Cleveland Indians/Bulldogs^ Cleveland, Ohio 1923 1927[E] [6][7]
Cleveland Indians Cleveland, Ohio 1931 1931 [6]
Columbus Panhandles/Tigers Columbus, Ohio 1920[A] 1926 [6]
Dallas Texans Dallas, Texas 1952 1952 [6]
Dayton Triangles Dayton, Ohio 1920[A] 1929 [6]
Detroit Heralds Detroit, Michigan 1920[A] 1920 [6]
Detroit Panthers Detroit, Michigan 1925 1926 [6]
Detroit Tigers Detroit, Michigan 1921 1921 [6]
Detroit Wolverines Detroit, Michigan 1928 1928 [6]
Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos Duluth, Minnesota 1923 1927 [6]
Evansville Crimson-Giants Evansville, Indiana 1921 1922 [6]
Frankford Yellow Jackets^ Frankford, Philadelphia 1924 1931 [6][7]
Hammond Pros Hammond, Indiana 1920[A] 1926 [6]
Hartford Blues Hartford, Connecticut 1926 1926 [6]
Kansas City Blues/Cowboys Kansas City, Missouri 1924 1926 [6]
Kenosha Maroons Kenosha, Wisconsin 1924 1924 [6]
Los Angeles Buccaneers Los Angeles, California 1926 1926 [6]
Louisville Brecks/Colonels Louisville, Kentucky 1921 1926[F] [6]
Milwaukee Badgers Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1922 1926 [6]
Minneapolis Marines/Red Jackets Minneapolis, Minnesota 1921 1930[G] [6]
Muncie Flyers Muncie, Indiana 1920[A] 1921 [6]
New York Bulldogs/Yanks New York, New York 1949 1951 [6]
New York Yankees New York, New York 1927 1928 [6]
New York Giants New York, New York 1921 1921 [6]
Orange/Newark Tornadoes Orange, New Jersey (1929)
Newark, New Jersey (1930)
1929 1930 [6]
Oorang Indians LaRue, Ohio 1922 1923 [6]
Pottsville Maroons/Boston Bulldogs Pottsville, Pennsylvania (1925-1928)
Boston, Massachusetts (1929)
1925 1929 [6]
Providence Steam Roller^ Providence, Rhode Island 1925 1931 [6][7]
Racine Legion/Tornadoes Racine, Wisconsin 1922 1926 [6]
Rochester Jeffersons Rochester, New York 1920[A] 1925 [6]
Rock Island Independents Rock Island, Illinois 1920[A] 1925 [6]
St. Louis All-Stars St. Louis Missouri 1923 1923 [6]
St. Louis Gunners St. Louis Missouri 1934 1934 [6]
Staten Island Stapletons/Stapes Staten Island, New York 1929 1932 [6]
Toledo Maroons Toledo, Ohio 1922 1923 [6]
Tonawanda Kardex Tonawanda, New York 1921 1921 [6]
Washington Senators Washington, D.C. 1921 1921 [6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Founding member of the league.[8]
  2. ^ The Baltimore Colts were originally members of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), but the franchise was accepted into the NFL when the AAFC folded in 1949.[9]
  3. ^ The Buffalo Bisons franchise was inactive for the 1928 season.[6]
  4. ^ The Canton Bulldogs franchise was inactive for the 1924 season.[6]
  5. ^ The Cleveland Bulldogs franchise was inactive for the 1926 season.[6]
  6. ^ The Louisville Brecks franchise was inactive for the 1924 and 1925 seasons.[6]
  7. ^ The Minneapolis Marines franchise was inactive from 1925 to 1928.[6]



  • "Constitution and Bylaws of the National Football League" (PDF). 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 7, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2013.


  1. ^ NFL Bylaws, p. 6, 12-15.
  2. ^ NFL Bylaws, p. 3.
  3. ^ NFL Bylaws, p. 28-35.
  4. ^ "National Football League (NFL)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  5. ^ "NFL History by Decade: 1921-1930". Archived from the original on April 10, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc "National Football League Franchise Histories". Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "NFL Champions". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  8. ^ "NFL History by Decade: 1911-1920". Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  9. ^ Grosshandler, Stan (1980). "All-America Football Conference" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 2 (7): 3, 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 19, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 16 October 2020, at 08:25
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