Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
October 31, 2011 - American Indoor Football Association (AIFA)
American Association: The independent AA has revoked the membership of its Fort Worth Cats franchise because it was unable to provide a letter of credit for the upcoming 2012 season. The Cats' owner has been trying to sell the team and claims a sale will go through that will allow the Cats to play in 2012. There is speculation the league's Shreveport-Bossier Captains will not be part of the 2012 season. A new team called the Laredo Lemurs is expected to join the AA for the 2012 season.
North American League: The Chico Outlaws have signed a baseball stadium lease extension with Chico State University that will allow the NAL franchise to return for the 2012 season.
Eastern League: The owner of the Richmond Squirrels in the Double-A Eastern League stated the team could look for a new home because there has been little progress on a new ballpark that was proposed as part of the team's move to Richmond from Norwich (CT) for the 2010 season. The city has a general plan for a ballpark, but with the current struggling economy and other factors it does not appear a new ballpark could happen until 2015.
Major League Baseball: MLB is considering realignment by the 2013 season and the Houston Astros could be the National League team moving to the American League West to put 15 teams in each league. San Jose is proposing a sale of city-owned land at a loss to assist construction of a proposed new stadium for the Oakland Athletics.
Northwest League: The city of Milwaukie (OR) will present plans for a proposed baseball stadium to the public as it tries to bring a short-season Class-A Northwest League franchise to the Portland area. The league's Yakima (WA) Bears franchise has been looking for a new home and previously was dealing with Vancouver (WA), just north of Portland, for construction of a new stadium.
Pecos League: The independent Pecos League has officially signed a ballpark lease agreement for its new Trinidad (CO) Triggers team that will be the league's fifth team in 2012. With four teams returning from last season, the league plans to add the Santa Fe (NM) Mountain Lions as its sixth team, but needs a favorable vote next month to allow alcohol sales at the local ballpark. If the Santa Fe team does not materialize, the league will consider a possible sixth team in Taos (NM), Pecos (TX), Durango (CO), or Bisbee (AZ), or bring back the Carlsbad Bats travel team that played in 2011.
West Coast League: The summer-collegiate WCL is trying to place a team in Victoria (British Columbia) for the 2013 season. The city was recently home to a franchise called the Victoria Seals for two seasons (2009-10) in the Golden Baseball League.
National Basketball League of Canada: The new seven-team NBL-Canada has started its inaugural 2011-12 season. The league was created with three former Premier Basketball League teams called the Saint John Mill Rats (New Brunswick), Quebec Kebs, and Halifax Rainmen (Nova Scotia), along with four new teams called the Moncton Miracle (New Brunswick), London Lightning (Ontario), Oshawa Power (Ontario), and Summerside Storm (Prince Edward Island). Each team will play a 36-game schedule from late October 2011 to early March 2012.
Indoor Football League: The IFL has announced its schedule and league alignment for 2012. The league will have 16 teams, down from the 22 teams in 2011. The league lost nine teams from last season-the Richmond Revolution, La Crosse Spartans, Cedar Rapids Titans, Amarillo Venom, West Texas Roughnecks, Oklahoma City Bricktown Brawlers, Arizona Adrenaline, Fairbanks Grizzlies, Kent Predators/Seattle Timberwolves, and Wenatchee Valley Venom. Three new teams called the Cedar Rapids (IA) Titans, Everett (WA) Raptors, and New Mexico Stars were added for 2012. The 2012 alignment will feature an eight-team United Conference and an eight-team Intense Conference with no regional divisions within the conferences. The Amarillo Venom and West Texas Roughnecks moved to the new Lone Star Football League. The owner of the La Crosse Spartans started the new Cedar Rapids Titans franchise, while the owner of the Seattle Timberwolves formed the new Everett Raptors for 2012.
American Indoor Football: The American Indoor Football Association has announced the creation of the new professional league called the AIF that will start play in 2012 with an East Coast division and a West Coast division. The eastern teams will be based in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Maryland, while the western teams will be based in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Some possible teams include the Harrisburg (PA) Stampede, Maryland Force (Baltimore), Sacramento Eagles, and Stockton (CA) Wolves. The AIFA did not play in 2011 as several of its eastern-based teams played as part of the Southern Indoor Football League. In addition to the AIF Professional league, the AIF will start the summer/fall AIF Developmental league in 2012.
United Football League: The UFL stated it needs to expand to stay alive and is expected to make a decision in January 2012 about its future. The league had three fairly strong markets with the Sacramento Mountain Lions, Omaha Nighthawks, and Virginia Destroyers in 2011, but the Las Vegas Locomotives had attendance issues. The Las Vegas owner has reportedly expressed interest in moving the team to Salt Lake City. The UFL wants to expand to at least six teams and possible investors are being sought in Austin (TX), Chattanooga (TN), Des Moines (IA), Jackson (MS), and Portland (OR). The league reported it could consider a move from a fall season to a spring season.
Lingerie Football League: The LFL has announced market rights to five Canadian cities for the inaugural season of LFL Canada that is expected to start play in the fall of 2012. Along with the LFL's current Toronto Triumph team, LFL Canada plans to have teams in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Quebec City, and Vancouver. The LFL plans to add an Australian league in 2013 and an European league in 2014. The LFL announced an attempt to place a Mexico City-based team in the United States league by 2013. The LFL was having some trouble with its new Toronto Triumph franchise when the majority of players staged a walkout after its second game in the 2011-12 season.
American Professional Football League: The semi-pro indoor APFL plans to add a new team called the Colorado (Denver) Lightning. Another new team called the Cheyenne (WY) Warriors was previously announced and the five full-schedule teams from 2011 are expected to return in 2012. Last season's Iowa Blackhawks were sold and renamed the Council Bluffs Express. A 2012 team in Lincoln (NE) has also been proposed. Two provisional teams from last season, the Kansas City Matadors and Florida Scorpions, will not return in 2012.
American Hockey League: National Hockey League Western Conference teams in Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Edmonton, Vancouver, Colorado (Denver), Phoenix, and Calgary recently met with NHL officials about development of an AHL Western Division. The AHL has most of its team in the East and Midwest with only the Abbotsford (British Columbia) Heat, an affiliate of the Calgary Flames, in the Pacific time zone. There was also talk that these western NHL clubs could start their own new league, if things do not work out with moving some AHL teams to the West.
Federal Hockey League: The FHL has started its 2011-12 season and has increased from six to eight teams. The Rome (NY) Frenzy did not return, but new teams called the Vermont Wild (Morrisville), Danville (IL) Dashers, and New Jersey Outlaws (Wayne) were added. The Vermont Wild was originally announced as the Green Mountain Rock Crushers based in Jay (VT), but a change in ownership and its home arena resulted in a new name for the team. The FHL had another proposed 2011-12 team called the Niagara Falls (Ontario) Nationals, but it never got off the ground. Last season's Binghamton-based Broome County (NY) Barons moved to Hyannis (MA) as the Cape Cod Barons during the 2010-11 season. The Barons have since come under new ownership and were renamed the Cape Cod Bluefins for 2011-12.
Women's Professional Soccer: After indicating last week that all six 2011 teams would be back for a 2012 season, the WPS announced it has terminated the majicJack FC franchise based in Boca Raton (FL). During last season, the WPS had issues with the owner of the majicJack franchise, which previously operated as the Washington (DC) Freedom until being purchased and moved to South Florida prior to the 2011 season. The league was considering the addition of a possible sixth team based in Connecticut for the 2012 season.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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American Indoor Football Association Stories from October 31, 2011
- Harrisburg Stampede "Official" Practice Facility Secured, Announce 1st Open Try-Out Date - AIFA
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
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