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Sports teams in Virginia include several professional teams, but no professional major-league teams. Virginia is the most populous U.S. state without a major professional sports league franchise playing within its borders, although two of the major-league teams representing Washington, D.C.—the NFL's Washington Redskins and NHL's Washington Capitals—have their practice facilities and operational headquarters in Northern Virginia.
Major league teams
There have been proposals to locate stadiums for Washington, D.C.-based teams in Northern Virginia or to locate teams in the Hampton Roads metro area surrounding Norfolk, but none have come to fruition. When Jack Kent Cooke decided to build a replacement for the aging RFK Stadium as home of the Washington Redskins, he considered a site in Alexandria until public opposition developed. An attempt to bring a National Hockey League expansion franchise to Norfolk in the late 1990s was rejected by the NHL, with the expansion franchise instead becoming the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Houston Astros were nearly sold and relocated to Northern Virginia in 1996, but Major League Baseball owners stepped in and scuttled the proposed transaction in order to give Houston time to approve a new stadium deal. A proposal to relocate the Montreal Expos to Norfolk was considered by Major League Baseball in 2004. MLB had also considered a site near Washington Dulles International Airport in Loudoun County as a possible new home for the Expos. However, a reluctance by state officials to dedicate funds to the project along with concern about traffic helped lead MLB to select Washington as the Expos' new home. The ownership of the Florida Marlins had mentioned Norfolk as one of the cities to which it could relocate the team, but the Marlins will now remain in South Florida for the foreseeable future since they moved to a new park in Miami in 2012, adopting their current name of Miami Marlins at that time.