Franchise followers miss – visiting departed groups on the anniversary of the sale of the Seattle SuperSonics

Breaking apart is tough, particularly on the earth of sports activities.

Typically followers get fortunate and groups transfer to the identical metropolitan space to assist easy the transition, à la the Nets shifting from New Jersey to Brooklyn. Different instances, followers have not been so fortunate, like when the Warriors moved from Philadelphia to California.

Strikes can occur for a wide range of causes, from on-field efficiency to irreconcilable variations between the workforce and native leaders, however the feeling stings the identical whatever the motive.

On July 18, 2006, some of the notorious strikes in sports activities historical past was made official when the Seattle SuperSonics had been bought to the Oklahoma Metropolis possession group and the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder had been born.

Years later, former proprietor Howard Schultz expressed remorse for the sale.

“Promoting the Sonics the best way I did is without doubt one of the largest regrets of my profession. I ought to have been ready to lose cash till an area purchaser emerged,” Schultz stated in 2019.

Regardless of calls from NBA followers close to and much, together with NBA champion Klay Thompson, an NBA workforce nonetheless hasn’t returned to Seattle practically 20 years later.

Skilled sports activities followers could really feel nostalgic for a franchise that moved on to greener (or generally smaller) pastures.

NFL – Baltimore Colts

Notable Gamers: Raymond Berry, Gino Marchetti, YA Tittle, Johnny Unitas
Yr folded: 1984 12 months
Renamed as: Indianapolis Colts

The Colts operated as an American Soccer Convention (AAFC) workforce for 3 seasons earlier than becoming a member of the NFL. Baltimore’s tenure was short-lived, with the workforce posting a 1-11 document in its solely 12 months. That single-season roster included three Professional Soccer Corridor of Famers.

The franchise then operated because the Dallas Texans for 2 seasons, nevertheless it wasn’t lengthy earlier than soccer returned to the Attraction Metropolis because the second iteration of the Colts arrived in 1953.

Baltimore gained its first NFL championship in 1958 with Johnny Unitas in “The Biggest Recreation Ever Performed.” The workforce made six extra playoff appearances in the course of the Unitas period, which led to 1972, together with a 1970 Tremendous Bowl victory.

Over the following decade, the Colts largely struggled to realize the identical success. In 1983, John Elway famously refused to hitch the Colts and demanded a commerce when the workforce chosen him with the highest choose.

The workforce recorded six straight shedding seasons in its remaining years in Baltimore, and attendance suffered badly earlier than the Colts left for Indianapolis.

NFL soccer returned to the town in 1996 with the arrival of the Baltimore Ravens.


WNBA – Houston Comets

Notable Gamers: Forged: Cynthia Cooper, Kim Perrot, Daybreak Staley, Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson

Yr folded: 2008

The Comets had been one of many unique eight WNBA groups and the league’s first dynasty, successful its first 4 championships from 1997-2000. The workforce was initially owned by Leslie Alexander, who additionally owned the NBA’s Houston Rockets from 1993 to 2017. In January 2007, Alexander bought the workforce to Houston businessman Hilton Koch, however administration of the workforce was transferred to the WNBA shortly thereafter.

The workforce finally folded as a result of no new homeowners could possibly be discovered.

Houston’s dismissal drew heavy criticism from gamers and followers.

“It was an excessive amount of of a misjudgment within the sense that I simply do not assume they actually ran the enterprise correctly and did not worth what the franchise was going to carry,” Tina Thompson stated in 2016.


NHL – Hartford Whalers

Notable Gamers: Sean Burke, Ron Francis, Gordie Howe, Mike Liut,
Yr of relocation: in 1997
Renamed as: Carolina Hurricanes

Initially generally known as the World Hockey Affiliation (WHA) New England Whalers, the franchise was admitted to the NHL in 1979 when the leagues merged. The workforce was situated roughly 100 miles from regional rival Boston Bruins, prompting the title change.

Regardless of the workforce’s nice success within the WHA, it took seven seasons for Hartford to achieve the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the primary time. In 1986, the Whalers defeated acquainted foe Quebec Nordiques (now generally known as the Colorado Avalanche) in Hartford for his or her solely playoff collection victory.

The franchise left for a lot of causes, together with attendance and failed negotiations for a brand new enviornment, however its iconic brand and catchy combat tune “Brass Bonanza” are among the many relics which have captivated followers even many years after the workforce left the realm.

The Hurricanes have honored the franchise’s roots with an annual Whalers Night time for the reason that 2018-19 season.


MLB – Montreal Expos

Notable Gamers: Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Vladimir Guerrero, Tim Raines
Yr of relocation: 2004
Renamed as: Residents of Washington

The primary MLB workforce exterior america was established in 1969 when the league added two enlargement franchises in every convention. The Expos struggled to supply early of their existence, recording 10 straight shedding seasons and lacking the playoffs one sport within the 1981 season with a shortened offense.

Then-commissioner Bud Selig introduced that MLB would lose two groups in 2001, focusing on the Expos. The Expos operated as an MLB-owned workforce for 2 years till a brand new proprietor (and site) was discovered.

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