⚾ MLB: 1894-2021 128 4
One of the eight original American League teams beginning with the 1901 season.
🏈 NFL: 1930-2021 92 4
The Detroit Lions franchise was founded in Portsmouth, Ohio as the Portsmouth Spartans and joined the NFL on July 12, 1930. Amid financial struggles, the team was relocated to Detroit in 1934. The tea...
🏀 NBA: 1941-2021 81 8
The team was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons in 1941, a member of the National Basketball League (NBL), where it won two NBL championships: in 1944 and 1945. The Pisto...
NHL: 1927-2021 95 11
Founded in 1926, known as the Detroit Cougars until 1930, for a few years as the Detroit Falcons, and in 1932, they changed their name to the Red Wings.

Defunct Teams

Teams that have folded or moved away from the Detroit area.
F i l t e r   &   S o r t 
WHA: 1975-1975 1
The Los Angeles Sharks were an ice hockey team that played in the World Hockey Association from 1972 to 1974. Their primary home arena was the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena but they sometimes play...
The Flint Dow A.C.'s, an American professional basketball team that played in the National Basketball League during the 1947–48 season....
🏀 NBL: 1947-1947 1
The franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League (NBL). The new team began playing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, calling themselves the M...
🏀 WPBT: 1940-1943 4 1
The Detroit Eagles were a professional basketball team based in Detroit, Michigan. Managed by Dutch Dehnert, they played in the National Basketball League from 1939 to 1941, then became a barnstorming...
Detroit Altes Lagers played for 2 seasons from 1936 to 1937, several in the MBC, before folding....
⚾ NNL: 1933-1933 1
Five years after the demise of the original Indianapolis ABCs, Negro league baseball came back to Indianapolis. Within a few years the Cole's American Giants moved their 1933 home games to Indianapolis, forcing the ABCs move the club to Detroit shortly after opening day.
⚾ NNL1: 1919-1931 13
Founded in 1919, Detroit Stars immediately established themselves as one of the most powerful teams in the West. After the collapse of the NNL at the end of 1931, the team folded and were replaced by the Detroit Wolves of the East–West League
The Cleveland Bulldogs were a team that played in Cleveland, Ohio in the National Football League. They were originally called the Indians in 1923, not to be confused with the Cleveland Indians NFL fr...
In 1925, Detroit fielded its second NFL franchise, the Detroit Panthers. The team was organized by future Hall of Famer, Jimmy Conzelman. Conzelman was a quarterback who had recently played with the D...
🏈 NFL: 1910-1921 12
In 1905, several University of Detroit football players, led by Bill Marshall, organized the Heralds as an amateur team after the university did not field a squad. While the university's football team...
The Calumet Miners, also known as the Calumet-Laurium Miners and the Calumet Wanderers, was a professional ice hockey team from Calumet & Laurium, Michigan. The team played for three seasons in the In...
The Portage Lakes Hockey Club was one of the first professional ice hockey clubs. Based in Houghton, Michigan, the club played at the Amphidrome from 1904 until 1906. While members of the Internationa...
The Michigan Soo Indians, also known as the American Soo Indians, was a professional ice hockey team from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, United States. The team played for three seasons in the Internatio...
One of the eight original American League teams beginning with the 1901 season.
One of the nation's top teams in the Negro leagues. The 1898 tour was the club's last, as the team morphed into the new Columbia Giants in Chicago.
⚾ NL: 1881-1888 8 1
After 8 years in the National League, the franchise folded following the 1888 season.
The early history of sports contains hundreds of teams that appeared for only 1 or 2 seasons before folding. Most of these teams have no historical photographs or articles, so are omitted from this list to reduce clutter. To view a comprehensive list of all defunct teams, browse to the early leagues section for baseball, football, basketball, or hockey.