The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in, Detroit. The Lions compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. The team plays its home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit. Originally based in Portsmouth, Ohio, and called the Portsmouth Spartans, the team formally joined the NFL on July 12, 1930 and began play in the 1930 season. The team was purchased and relocated to Detroit for the 1934 season.