Traveling team

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For the novel, see Travel Team.

In professional team sports, a traveling team (also called a road team) is a member of a professional league that never or rarely competes in its home arena or stadium. This differs from a barnstorming team in that the latter does not compete within a league or association framework. While leagues may designate a traveling team prior to the start of competition, some teams become road teams by simply not scheduling any home games.

While the use of traveling teams has been sparing on the upper levels of professional sports, the National Football League had such road teams (such as the Hammond Pros, Oorang Indians, and Columbus Panhandles) in the formative years of the league. Other professional sports leagues on the major league level have employed traveling teams, the most recent being World Team Tennis, with "The Soviets" nominally being based in Philadelphia.

Traveling teams in major professional American football[edit]

Below is a list of the traveling teams that were members of the National Football League, the first American Football League, or the second American Football League. No other major professional league of American football had such road teams, the last of which was the 1952 Dallas Texans of the National Football League. To qualify for the list, the team must have played a complete season of at least four games on the road. Teams that had the traveling team status imposed upon them in midseason are noted.[1]

Though there have been no NFL traveling teams since 1952, owing to the increased stability of the league, the 1973-75 New York Giants, 1997 Tennessee Oilers, 2002 Chicago Bears, 2005 New Orleans Saints and 2010 Minnesota Vikings were forced to temporarily move to alternate stadiums for various reasons. In the case of New Orleans, forced to move because of Hurricane Katrina, there was discussion of making the team a traveling team for the season (and, in fact, one of its designated home games was moved to Giants Stadium in New Jersey, the home stadium of its opponent), but because of concerns over home field advantage, alternate stadiums in Texas (San Antonio's Alamodome) and Louisiana (Baton Rouge's Tiger Stadium) accommodated the team instead for the rest of the season. All of these teams moved into permanent stadiums the next year.[citation needed]

The Canadian Football League has had only one road team, the Las Vegas Posse (a CFL USA team), which was converted into "road team" status for the last few weeks of the 1994 season. The team had drawn very poorly in Las Vegas (its last game drew less than 2,500 fans) and was folded at the end of the season.[8]

Traveling teams in Major League Baseball[edit]

In 1994, after a roof collapse occurred at the Kingdome, Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners were forced to play the remainder of the season on the road after the player's union rejected a number of proposed temporary homes. However, the season was cut short due to a player's strike, which resulted in the Mariners playing only 20 games as a road team.