Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
August 29, 2011 - American Association (AA)
North American League: The NAL stated that contrary to some reports, the league's Maui Na Koa Ikaika franchise has not folded. Although there are some questions about the future of the league's Lake County Fielders franchise for next year, as of now, that team is still part of the NAL.
Frontier League: The ownership group that purchased rights to the Frontier League's Oakland County (MI) Cruisers franchise has decided not to move forward with plans to build a 1,500-seat ballpark in the Detroit suburb of Clawson (MI). The group had hoped to have a team play in the 2012 Frontier League, but withdrew plans due to local opposition. The previous ownership had been trying to build a new 4,000-seat ballpark a little farther north in the Waterford Township, but was unable to obtain financing.
American Association: The owner of the Joliet Slammers in the Frontier League has decided to sell his interests in a proposed Schaumburg (IL) team, which was originally planned to be part of the AA in 2012. The owner of the Gary SouthShore RailCats in the AA has purchased the Schaumburg team and it is supposed to be part of the Frontier League for the 2012 season. The Schaumburg market sat idle in 2011 after the previous ownership group was selected to lease its ballpark in 2012. The Schaumburg Flyers team had been a member of the Northern League since the 1999 season. The owners of the Shreveport-Bossier Captains are considering a move out of the AA for next season. The team again suffered from low attendance in 2011and there is speculation the team could move to another professional league or to a summer-collegiate league like the Texas Collegiate League. The league's Sioux Falls (SD) Pheasants franchise is considering a move to the summer-collegiate Northwoods League.
Eastern League: The Akron Aeros of the Double-A Eastern League plan to re-brand the baseball club for next season and have been holding a name-the-team contest. The team will either retain the Aeros name or select a totally new name. The possible new nicknames come from the area's auto and tire industries and include the RubberDucks, Vulcans, Gum Dippers, and Tire Jacks.
Pioneer League: Prior to the 2011 season, the owners of the Colorado Rockies purchased the Casper (WY) Ghosts of the short-season Advanced Rookie-Level Pioneer League. This move, along with issues concerning the playing field in Casper, stirred up rumors that the team could move to a Colorado city like Fort Collins, Grande Junction, or Greeley. The Ghosts have been an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies since the Butte (MT) Copper Kings moved to Casper for the 2001 season. The team was called the Casper Rockies until a name change for the 2008 season.
Northwest League: The commissioners for Vancouver (WA) voted down an initial funding proposal to build a ballpark for the Yakima Bears of the short-season Class-A Northwest League.
National Basketball League of Canada: The new NBL-Canada held its initial player draft last weekend and confirmed it will start its inaugural 2011-12 season with seven teams. The league will have three established teams-the Halifax Rainmen (Nova Scotia), Quebec Kebs, and Saint John Mill Rats (New Brunswick)-and four new teams called the Moncton Miracles (New Brunswick), Oshawa Power (Ontario), London Lightning (Ontario), and a yet-to-be-named Summerside (Prince Edward Island) team.
Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League: The ACPBL has announced another new team called the New York 524 will be part of the upcoming 2011-12 season.
Premier Basketball League: The PBL has announced another expansion franchise called the Charleston (WV) Gunners will be part of the upcoming 2012 season. A team by the same name played three seasons (1986-89) in the former Continental Basketball Association. Charleston will be part of the league's East Coast division. The PBL has the Rochester RazorSharks and Dayton Air Strikers returning from last season, along with three other new teams called the Sauk Valley (IL) Predators, Chicago Muscle, and a yet-to-be-named team in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (PA).
American Basketball Association: The new 2011-12 ABA expansion team based in Athens (GA) will be called the Athens Razors. Originally, the team was referred to as the Athens Hoop Dawgz.
Independent Basketball Association: The new IBA will hold a player draft in October and plans start its inaugural 2011-12 season in November. The league currently has ten teams listed for its first season. Six of the teams-the Battle Creek (MI) Knights, Gary (IN) Splash, Holland (MI) Blast, Kankakee County (IL) Soldiers, Lake County (IL) Stars, and Lansing (MI) Capitals-had prior affiliations with the International Basketball League. The Battle Creek Knights also played in the 2009 Premier Basketball League. The IBA's new Rockford Riverdawgs team was originally announced last year as a proposed 2011-12 expansion team in the American Basketball Association. The IBA's three other new teams include the Champaign (IL) Fifty-Two, Chicago Redline, and Springfield (IL) Shock. The IBA was created as a regional organization to minimize travel costs.
Ultimate Indoor Football League: The UIFL has announced an eighth expansion team will be located in Raleigh (NC) for 2012. Raleigh will be added to the league's new South Division along with teams in Rome (GA), Tupelo (MS), East Ridge (TN), and Florida (Estero). Raleigh was home to the Carolina Cobras for three seasons (2000-02) in the original Arena Football League. A team called the Raleigh Rebels played all road games in the 2005 Atlantic Indoor Football League and was part of the 2006 American Indoor Football League. The Rebels then became the Carolina Bombers, but the Bombers folded before a proposed 2007 season as part of the World Football League. The UIFL also announced that the Erie Explosion team, which was part of the 2011 Southern Indoor Football League, will be part of the UIFL's Northern Division in the 2012 season.
Indoor Football League: The owners of the IFL's Seattle Timberwolves, formerly the Kent Predators, are trying to establish a new IFL franchise in Everett (WA) for the 2012 season. If approved, the Seattle Timberwolves franchise would most likely sit out the 2012 season as the Everett franchise is developed. A team called the Everett Hawks was part of the former National Indoor Football League for its 2005 season, but switched to arenafootball2 in 2006 and folded after the 2007 season. The IFL's new Binghamton (NY) team has narrowed its nickname choices to the Blitz, Bomb Squad, Burn, and Jets.
Lingerie Football League: The women's indoor LFL has started its 2011-12 season with 12 teams. The league lost the Dallas Desire, Miami Caliente, and San Diego Seduction from the ten teams in last season, but added five teams called the Cleveland Crush, Green Bay Chill, Las Vegas Sin, Minneapolis Valkyrie, and Toronto Triumph. The seven other returning teams include the Baltimore Charm, Chicago Bliss, Los Angles Temptation, Orlando Fantasy, Philadelphia Passion, Seattle Mist, and Tampa Breeze. Each team will play a four-game schedule during the league's third season.
Global United Hockey League: The GUHL, which is a proposed 4-on-4 professional summer ice hockey league that originally announced a 2011 start, now plans to start in June 2012 with six teams based in the Northeast region of the United States. The league plans to expand to Canada in 2014 and then to Europe in 2016. The GUHL schedule will be played in the months of June, July, and August.
Women's Professional Soccer: Now that the 2011 WPS season has been completed, questions have been raised about the league's return for a fourth season in 2012. The league had issues with the ownership of the majicJack FC and that team might not return. The WPS has several sponsorship deals that are set to expire after this season and some WPS teams are having financial troubles.
United Soccer Leagues-Major Indoor Soccer League: The MISL will reportedly announce a new Chicago team as the league's eighth team for the upcoming 2011-12 season. A team called the Chicago Riot was part of the league last season, but this is expected to be a new team with a new name. With the addition of Chicago, the league is expected to be aligned into two four-team divisions.
United Soccer Leagues-Premier Development League: The Tacoma Tide FC of the PDL has been put up for sale. The owner will no longer operate the club without new local owners and investors helping to run the PDL club. Tacoma has been part of the PDL since the 2006 season.
North American Lacrosse League: The proposed Charlotte-based franchise in the minor indoor NALL has been holding a name-the-team contest that started with 16 different names and logos to be voted on by fans. The team was down to the final three choices-Copperheads, Miners, and Torque. The league's inaugural season is set to start in January 2012.
Canadian Lacrosse League: The proposed CLAX announced its initial player draft will be held September 10-11, 2011. The league is still looking to add teams to its six current locations of Montreal (Quebec) and the Ontario cities of Brampton, Kitchener, London, Ohsweken, and Oshawa. The league is also said to be considering the Ontario cities of Cobourg, Barrie, and St. Catharines.
Dan Krieger is the creator of the "leagueology almanac" known as "Leagues, Teams & Nicknames", which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The latest 2010-11 edition is available at http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/leagues-teams-nicknames-the-leagueology-almanac-2010-11/15228513. Dan can be contacted at email@example.com.
American Association Stories from August 29, 2011
- Pheasants Can't Catch Goldeyes - Sioux Falls Canaries
- American Association Game Recaps - AA
- Goldeyes Set New Wins Record with Victory in Sioux Falls - Winnipeg Goldeyes
- RedHawks Fall to Kansas City 3-2 - Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
- Saints Win 7-4, Control Playoff Fate - St. Paul Saints
- Johnson Secures Win in Final Start of 2011 - Kansas City T-Bones
- Calhoun Knocks in Game-Winning Run as Cats Beat Captains in Last at Bat 3-2 - Shreveport-Bossier Captains
- Abercrombie, Jennings Win Weekly Awards - AA
- Wingnuts' Tie-Breaker Scenarios Announced - Wichita Wingnuts
- Jennings Named League Pitcher of the Week - Grand Prairie AirHogs
- Amarillo's Cruz Named Player of the Year - AA
- Abercrombie Named League Batter of the Week - Sioux Falls Canaries
- Amarillo Sox Cruz Named Player of the Year - Amarillo Sox
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
- Saltdogs Take Game Two Of Series - Sioux City Explorers
- Rainwater Ties League Record in Another AirHogs Win - Grand Prairie AirHogs
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.