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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Rams are first pro team to move west
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com


Jan. 12, 1946

Less than a month after winning the NFL championship, the Cleveland Rams take Horace Greeley's age-old advice and go west. When the other NFL owners grant permission for the franchise to move to Los Angeles, the Rams become the first team in a major professional sports league to locate on the West Coast.

Dan Reeves, the youthful and dapper owner of the Rams, says that since 1943 he has attempted to get the league's sanction for the transfer. "Long before I came into pro football, back in 1937, I decided some day to have a team in Los Angeles," Reeves says. "It's going to be the greatest professional town in the country."

Now that the NFL has broken out of its East-Midwest cocoon, it faces a transportation problem. Reeves says that, if necessary, airplane transportation will be used.

Despite going 9-1 in the regular season and defeating the Washington Redskins in the title game, Cleveland drew only 77,608 fans - an average of 19,402 - in its four regular-season home games last season.





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