In 1959, Lamar Hunt, conceived of a rival professional football league after the NFL turned him down as an owner. The son of an oil tycoon, Hunt wanted to bring pro football to Dallas by purchasing the Chicago Cardinals and moving them to his hometown. Brushed off by NFL commissioner Bert Bell, Hunt decided to create his own league, The American Football League.
Detroit businessman Ralph Wilson, who owned a minority share of the Detroit Lions, heard about the new league and tried to get a franchise. Having a taste for ownership, he wanted to jump into the league- but Buffalo was not his city of choice. Hard to believe, but Miami was one of the original cities on the AFL’s wish list. Wilson was willing, but the City of Miami and the Orange Bowl refused to give the AFL franchise a place to play. Wilson gave up on the idea. A week later, Hunt gave Wilson a call. They had 7 teams and owners lined up, and needed an eighth. Wilson was willing, and Hunt gave him the choice of 5 interested cities- Buffalo, Louisville, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and St. Louis.