Why did the Tennessee Titans change their name?

Tennessee’s Nashville-based Football is played professionally by the Tennessee Titans. In the American Football Conference (AFC) South division of the National Football League, the Titans’ home games are played at Nissan Stadium.

When Bud Adams founded the franchise in 1959, it was known as the Houston Oilers (who remained the owner until his passing in 2013). It made its American Football League debut in Houston, Texas, as a founding member, in 1960.

The Oilers joined the NFL in 1970 as part of the AFL-NFL merger after winning the first two AFL championships as well as four division titles.



With Hall of Famers Earl Campbell and Warren Moon, the Oilers made successive trips to the playoffs from 1978 to 1980 and 1987 to 1993, respectively.

The Oilers moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1997, but they played their first season there in Memphis’ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium as they waited for a new stadium to be built. The team relocated to Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville in 1998 as a result of low attendance.

The team played under the name Tennessee Oilers for those two seasons, but for the 1999 campaign, they adopted the Titans moniker and relocated to Adelphia Coliseum (now known as Nissan Stadium).

Visionary Phil Bredesen, the mayor of Nashville, was unfamiliar with football but saw the benefits an NFL club would bring to his city and state. Adams was persuaded to consent to an exclusive deal by him. The Oilers would move if Nashville granted Adams every demand prior to the contract’s expiration.