BALTIMORE – After what seemed like an eternity, football returned to Baltimore on this day 27 years ago.
The NFL approved Art Modell’s move to Charm City on February 9, 1996. Football was back in Baltimore for the first time since the Colts bolted to Indianapolis in 1984.
They were eventually named the Baltimore Ravens, and started their franchise history anew, after the City of Cleveland and Browns fans filed lawsuits to keep the team name and past in Cleveland.
On this day in 1996: The NFL officially allowed then #Browns owner Art Modell to move his franchise to Baltimore, leading to the creation of the #Ravens
The Ravens now have the 3rd highest winning % in NFL history, just behind the #Packers and #Cowboys pic.twitter.com/F7L3JT3BwM
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman)
Modell moved the Browns which he purchased for $4 million in 1961, and stayed in Cleveland for decades.
“That didn’t happen in Baltimore with the Colts, in Brooklyn with the Dodgers, or in other cities that lost sports teams,” Modell said at the time.
Then NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue promised the City of Cleveland that an NFL team would be located in Cleveland, either through relocation or expansion, “no later than 1999.”
Additionally, the agreement also stipulated that the Browns’ name, colors, uniform design and franchise records would remain in Cleveland.
Modell took the players who were currently on the Browns’ roster and moved to Baltimore.
The Ravens’ first game in 13 years was at Memorial Stadium where they beat the Oakland Raiders, 19-14, on September 1, 1996. They went 4-12 that first season.
The Browns essentially started as an expansion team in 1999, except for the same team name and rich history.
The Ravens have since won two Super Bowls – 2000 and 2012 – along with six division championships and 14 playoff appearances.
This content was originally published here.