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The San Francisco 49ers don’t even play in San Francisco!

The San Francisco 49ers don’t even play in San Francisco!
Photo: Getty Images

Does a name mean anything anymore? There is a frightening trend of professional sports teams leaving their namesake cities for the suburban sprawl. The Washington Capitals and Wizards have announced moves to Arlington, Virginia. The Tampa Bay Rays are proposing a new stadium built in the St. Petersburg area. Even the Chicago Bears – who have called the city of Chicago home for over a century, have unveiled a plan to move to Arlington Park.

It’s one thing to fully relocate a team to a new city. At least Oakland Athletics fans and St. Louis Rams fans get the benefit of a clean break. It’s another thing to inconvenience longtime fans with increased traffic, less public transport infrastructure, and acres of parking lots. As teams continue to migrate out of their namesake cities, this list documents the teams making the most ridiculous claims to territory.

This list excludes any teams named for a state (i.e. Arizona Cardinals, Colorado Rockies) or a region (New England Patriots, Golden State Warriors). All New York teams are considered to be from New York State except for the Jets and Giants, who do not have the decency to even play in the state they claim to represent.

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