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Oldest Sports Teams in the US - State by State [MAP]

Written by: James Whitelock
Updated October 14, 2022
7 min read

Oldest sports teams in the US

Have you ever wondered which is the oldest professional sports team in your state? Is it an NFL team? An MLB team? An NBA team?

Wonder no more! We have dug out the data and compiled it all neatly on a map for you.

The map displays the oldest professional sports team in each state from the five major leagues in the United States:

  • Major League Baseball (MLB)
  • Major League Soccer (MLS)
  • National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • National Football League (NFL)
  • National Hockey League (NHL)

Oldest Sports Teams State-by-State

State Team Venue City League Est.
Arizona Phoenix Suns Talking Stick Resort Arena Phoenix NBA 1968
California San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium Santa Clara NFL 1946
Colorado Denver Broncos Empower Field at Mile High Denver NFL 1960
Florida Miami Dolphins Hard Rock Stadium Miami Gardens NFL 1966
Georgia Atlanta Braves Truist Park Atlanta MLB 1966
Georgia Atlanta Falcons Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta NFL 1966
Illinois Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field Chicago MLB 1870
Indiana Indiana Pacers Bankers Life Fieldhouse Indianapolis NBA 1967
Kansas Sporting Kansas City Children’s Mercy Park Kansas City MLS 1996
Louisiana New Orleans Saints Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans NFL 1967
Maryland Washington Redskins FedExField Landover NFL 1937
Massachusetts Boston Red Sox Fenway Park Boston MLB 1901
Michigan Detroit Tigers Comerica Park Detroit MLB 1901
Minnesota Minnesota Twins Target Field Minneapolis MLB 1961
Minnesota Minnesota Vikings U.S. Bank Stadium Minneapolis NFL 1961
Missouri St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium St. Louis MLB 1882
Nevada Vegas Golden Knights T-Mobile Arena Paradise NHL 2017
New Jersey New York Giants Metlife Stadium East Rutherford NFL 1925
New York New York Yankees Yankee Stadium New York City MLB 1903
North Carolina Charlotte Hornets Spectrum Center Charlotte NBA 2004
Ohio Cincinnati Reds Great American Ball Park Cincinnati MLB 1882
Oklahoma Oklahoma City Thunder Chesapeake Energy Arena Oklahoma City NBA 2008
Oregon Portland Trail Blazers Moda Center Portland NBA 1970
Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Pirates PNC Park Pittsburgh MLB 1882
Tennessee Nashville Predators Bridgestone Arena Nashville NHL 1998
Texas Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium Arlington NFL 1960
Utah Utah Jazz Vivint Smart Home Arena Salt Lake City NBA 1979
Washington Seattle Seahawks CenturyLink Field Seattle NFL 1976
Wisconsin Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field Green Bay NFL 1921

Oldest NFL Team

The oldest NFL team is the Chicago Bears which was established in 1921. The Bears began life in Decatur, Illinois in 1920 when they were known as the Decatur Staleys, before relocating to Chicago the following year.

The Chicago Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl in 1985. They currently compete in the NFC North Division which they have won 11 times in their history, the most recent of which came in 2018.

Oldest MLB Team

Chicago’s rich sports history is also apparent in Major League Baseball. The Chicago Cubs is the oldest MLB team, founded way back in 1870.

The Illinois franchise were first known as the Chicago White Stockings and were a founding member of the National League in 1876. The Cubs have won just three World Series titles in their 150 year history. After winning back to back titles in 1907 and 1908, Cubs fans had to wait 107 years until their next championship – the longest drought in MLB history.

Oldest NBA Team

The title of ‘oldest NBA team’ is shared between two franchises; the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both established in 1946, they were founding members of the Basketball Association of America (BAA) which later became the NBA.

The Boston Celtics went on to become the most successful franchise in NBA history, with 17 championships to their name. The Celtics’ most prosperous years were in the late 1950s and ’60s when they won an incredible 11 championships in 13 years between 1957 and 1969.

The New York Knickerbockers, more commonly known as the Knicks, have had quite a different journey, winning just two NBA championships in their 74 year history.

Oldest NHL Team

The oldest NHL team is the Montreal Canadiens. Founded in 1909, the Canadiens are the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team in the world. They are also the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the NHL in 1917.

The oldest NHL team from the United States is the Boston Bruins who were founded in 1924. The name ‘Bruins’ comes from an Old English word for brown bears, originating from the Dutch word for ‘brown’.

Fittingly, the Bruins also play their hockey in the oldest indoor ice hockey stadium still in use for the sport worldwide, built 1909–10.

Oldest MLS Team

With Major League Soccer being a relatively new league many of the founding teams are still active today. In fact, nine of the ten founding franchises still participate in the league, albeit some under different names.

The Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, FC Dallas, D.C. United, Sporting Kansas City, LA Galaxy, New England Revolutions, New York Red Bulls and San Jose Earthquakes were all founded during the inaugural MLS season in 1996.

The most successful of these teams is LA Galaxy who have won the MLS Cup 5 times.

States That Do Not Have a Professional Sports Team

Incredibly, 24 of the 50 US states do not have a professional sports franchise in the big five leagues. Five of these states are from the Northeast, four from the Midwest, nine from the South and six from the West.

Here is the full list:

  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Delaware
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • West Virginia
  • Alabama
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Wyoming
  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
Image for James Whitelock


James Whitelock

33 Articles

James has more than a decade of experience working with online content in one form or another. Now Head of Sports at Gaming Innovation Group, James is responsible for ensuring WSN is delivering high quality and trustworthy sports content to its readers. His favorite sports teams are the Philadelphia Eagles and Manchester City, and his dream is to one day visit the Linc to watch the Eagles play live.

More info on James Whitelock
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