Eight cities that got their sports teams back

Winnipeg, Toronto, and Cleveland are just a few cities that got their sports teams back. (REUTERS)

Winnipeg, Toronto, and Cleveland are just a few cities that got their sports teams back. (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:29 PM ET

On Friday night, the CFL returned to Canada’s capital as the Ottawa RedBlacks hosted the Toronto Argonauts, reigniting the old Ontario rivalry.

The RedBlacks are the city’s latest addition to a very patchy football history, which has seen the Rough Riders and the Renegades both leave due to poor ownership.

But Canadian football fans across the country are hoping the third time will be a charm for the expansion franchise.

The Rouge et Noir have a new 24,000-seat stadium along the Rideau Canal.

Now they’re looking to show all the haters that football is staying in Eastern Ontario this time.

Now that the CFL has returned to Ottawa, here are 10 other cities that got their beloved sports franchises back:

CLEVELAND

While it may seem cool to be a professional athlete in Cleveland at the moment, things were much different in 1996.

The Cleveland Browns, a team so near and dear to almost everyone in the city, were relocated to Baltimore because their owner, Art Modell, wanted a better stadium for the team.

A settlement was reached between the NFL and Modell to deactivate the team while a new stadium (FirstEnergy Stadium) was built.

Modell broke the hearts of Browns fans everywhere, but his gamble paid off after the Browns returned along with a new stadium three years later.

WINNIPEG

Winnipeg is to hockey much like Cleveland is to football.

They’re smaller, working class cities that set the bar for supporting their teams in different leagues.

In the same year that the Browns left Cleveland, hockey was taken away from Winnipeg when the team was moved to Phoenix (becoming the Phoenix Coyotes, who are now the Arizona Coyotes).

Jets owner Barry Shenkarow sold the team to American businessmen Steven Gluckstern and Richard Burke because the team simply wasn’t making him enough money.

But in 2011, the NHL came back to Winnipeg after the Atlanta Thrashers struggled to fill seats

They were sold to True North Sports & Entertainment.

Although the Jets haven’t made the playoffs since their return, the buzz is back in Manitoba.

SAN JOSE

The San Jose Earthquakes were one of the best teams in Major League Soccer before they abruptly left.

Led by Canadian Dwayne De Rosario and American legend Landon Donovan, the Earthquakes won two MLS Cup titles in 2001 and 2003 but were relocated to Houston in 2005 after they couldn’t get a soccer-specific stadium.

The team became the Houston Dynamo, and continued to have success, winning two MLS Cups in their first two seasons.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber knew they made a mistake leaving northern California, and the Earthquakes returned as an expansion team in 2008.

The team is now set to open its new 18,000 soccer-specific stadium in 2015.

TORONTO

It’s the Mecca of basketball in North America these days, but back in 1946, the basketball scene in Toronto was non-existent.

The Toronto Huskies played in the Basketball Association of America (pre-NBA days) for just one season, 1946-1947.

Unfortunately, the team wasn’t very profitable and the team’s owners lost around $100,000 in one season before disbanding in the summer of 1947.

But Toronto got its ball back when the NBA announced Toronto and Vancouver would join the league in 1995.

Fresh off a first-round appearance in the NBA playoffs, the Raptors are thriving in a basketball crazy market.

BALTIMORE

The Baltimore Colts were founded in 1953, and helped form the modern game of football as we know it.

They were the first team to have their own cheerleaders and marching band, and were involved in what many call the greatest game ever played, the 1958 NFL Championship.

A storied franchise led by the likes of Johnny Unitas moved to Indianapolis for the 1983-1984 season after winning four NFL titles.

Here’s where the Cleveland connection comes in: The Browns relocated to Baltimore in 1996, and thus the Ravens were born.

MINNESOTA

Minnesota is one of the best hockey markets in America.

The problem with North American sports is that sometimes no amount of fan support can save a team, because it’s all about the cash.

The Minnesota North Stars were a solid team making it to two Stanley Cup finals, but after a couple of losing seasons, ownership wanted to move after failing to reach a new arena deal.

Minnesota moved to Dallas in 1993 and became the Dallas Stars.

But the NHL returned to the state of hockey in 2000 via the Minnesota Wild.

Despite the expansion team’s lack of success, winning only one division title since returning, the Wild are where it’s at in the Twin Cities.

WASHINGTON

America’s capital was home to MLB’s Washington Senators from 1960-1971, but the team struggled mightily.

Ownership changed hands several times, and lost an average of 90 games a season.

They were eventually relocated to Texas, and became the Texas Rangers for the 1972 season.

Baseball returned to Washington after the Montreal Expos were relocated to the U.S. capital in 2005.

The Nationals boast some of the best young players in the game, and currently sit first in the NL East.

OTTAWA

The Ottawa Senators are a storied hockey team.

That’s not something you hear very often, but it’s somewhat true.

Although the Sens have only been around since 1992, they actually were a force to reckon with in the 1930’s.

The original Senators won five Stanley Cups before moving to St. Louis in 1935 after attendance dropped during a horrible season.

Hockey finally came back to Canada’s capital almost 60 years later. Well, kinda.

The team plays in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa, and a 20-minute drive west of downtown.


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