Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
December 5, 2011 - American Association (AA)
American Association: The independent AA has announced the addition of the Laredo Lemurs team for the 2012 season. The Lemurs' ownership has purchased the league's Shreveport-Bossier Captains franchise and that team will relocate to Laredo. The Shreveport-Bossier owner was trying to bring a summer collegiate team to the area, possibly as part of the Texas Collegiate League. The Shreveport-Bossier franchise started out as the Shreveport Sports, which played three seasons (2003-05) in the defunct Central Baseball League before moving to the new AA in 2006. The Sports were renamed the Shreveport-Bossier Captains for the 2009 season. The Laredo Lemurs will take Shreveport-Bossier's spot in the South Division, but that division will lose a team as the Fort Worth Cats will not be part of the 2012 season. The South Division will be down to four teams, while the four-team North Division and the five-team Central Division will remain the same for 2012. The AA has announced that it will play an interlocking schedule with five of the six teams from the Can-Am League during the 2012 season. Five Can-Am teams will make a ten-game road trip to AA cities and five AA teams will play ten games each at five Can-Am cities.
Atlantic Baseball League: An investor is again trying to build a 6,500-seat ballpark in Malden (MA), just north of Boston, for a possible ABL franchise. The investor initiated an effort back in 2006 to bring a possible ABL or Can-Am League team to the Boston area. The prospect of building a minor league ballpark as part of the Xanadu entertainment and retail development near Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands appears to have finally died. A proposed team called the Bergen Cliff Hawks (East Rutherford, NJ) was announced about ten years ago by the owner of the league's Somerset Patriots and a ballpark was originally scheduled for completion in 2006. Issues with the project developer and ballpark funding delayed the ballpark portion of the development.
North American League: The NAL's proposed 2012 Tucson Toros franchise has shut down after reaching a settlement agreement that will allow the University of Arizona to use the city's Hi Corbett Field. The Toros played at Hi Corbett Field for two seasons (2009-10) as part of the Golden Baseball League before switching to the NAL. The Toros decided to sit out the 2011 NAL season when the Tucson Padres of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League moved into town last season.
Frontier League: The status of the Frontier League's Kalamazoo (MI) Kings franchise is still uncertain. The team sat out the 2011 season, but the league recently announced the Kings would not be part of the 2012 Frontier League season.
Northwest League: Clark County (WA) officials voted down an admissions tax that would have helped fund a proposed new ballpark in Vancouver (WA), just north of Portland (OR), to relocate the Yakima Bears of the short-season Class-A Northwest League. A competing ballpark proposal for a Northwest League team was in the process in Milwaukie (OR), just south of Portland.
Coastal Plain League: The summer-collegiate CPL's Outer Banks Daredevils, based in Kill Devils Hills (NC), have ceased operations after 14 years in the league and the team is up for sale.
Tobacco Road Basketball League: The Carolina Gladiators team, which was part of the 2010-11 Eastern Basketball Alliance and will be based in Johnson County (NC), has joined the new TRBL. Another established team called the Primetime Players, based in Rock Hill (SC), has also joined the TRBL.
Circuito de Baloncesto de la Costa del Pacifico (CIBACOPA): The CIBACOPA, Mexico's Pacific Coast Basketball League, is preparing for its 2012 spring-summer season. Four new potential ownership groups in Novalato, Obregon, Mazatlan, and Agua Prieta have applied for the 2012 season. The 2011 CIBACOPA had 10 teams-four in the state of Sonora, two in Baja California, three in Sinaloa, and one in Nayarit. The league could grow to either 12 or 14 teams for 2012.
Ultimate Indoor Football League: The UIFL has formed a team called the Western Pennsylvania Sting to take the place of the league's Saginaw Sting franchise, which was recently suspended and then left for the Continental Indoor Football League. The Sting will play the majority of its home games in Johnstown (PA), home of the league's Johnstown Generals team, along with some games in future UIFL locations. The league plans to find a permanent location for the Sting in the 2013 season.
Lingerie Football League: The proposed new Nashville-based team in the women's indoor LFL is called the Nashville Stars. The team is getting organized for a start in the 2012-13 season.
Lone Star Football League: After a proposed sale of the LSFL's Rio Grande Valley Magic fell through there was speculation the team would fold. The team's former owner, who also owns the league's Corpus Christi Hammerheads, is reportedly reorganizing the Magic ownership for the 2012 season.
Major Indoor Football League: The proposed MIFL plans to start in 2012 as a developmental indoor league with teams based in the Mid-Atlantic states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The league currently lists 16 possible teams, some of which had formerly been associated with the Indoor Championship Football League.
United Women's Football League: The new UWFL is planning to start in either 2012 or 2013 with up to 16 teams. Some of the markets under consideration include Austin, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Miami, and Nashville. The league will play 11-on-11 outdoor football.
All American Hockey League: The minor-league AAHL, which did not play in the 2011-12 season, is planning to restart with a 2012-13 season. The league's two remaining teams-the Battle Creek (MI) Revolution and Chi-Town Shooters of Dyer (IN)-from the 2010-11 season are expected to return. The league has expressed interest in Flint (MI), Port Huron (MI), and Troy (OH) for possible teams. The Queen City Storm (Cincinnati) was part of the 2010-11 season and plans to return to the AAHL based out of a new facility that is yet to be built.
National Hockey League: The NHL owners are meeting next week and will discuss league realignment for the 2012-13 season. At least one current Western Conference team is expected to be moved to the Eastern Conference and there could be some realignment within the conferences.
United Soccer Leagues - Premier Development League: The Los Angeles Blues of the USL PRO league announced it has changed the name of its USL PDL under-23 team, the Los Angeles Blues 23, to the Pali Blues. The Pali Blues will be based in Pacific Palisades (CA) and will share the nickname and home field of the organization's Pali Blues women's team in the USL W-League. The Orlando City club in the USL PRO league has acquired the Central Florida Kraze of the PDL and will rename the team the Orlando City Under 23s for the 2012 season. The Kraze has been part of the PDL since the 1999 season.
Major League Soccer: The owner of the Orlando City FC in the United Soccer Leagues Division III PRO league has had discussions about bringing an MLS franchise to Central Florida.
Women's Professional Soccer: WPS is making a presentation to the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) next week to request a waiver for the WPS to operate with only five teams under the Division I designation for the 2012 season. The WPS has been unable to develop a sixth team for 2012, but has several groups interested in starting WPS team in 2013.
Premier Arena Soccer League: Some of the PASL-Premier teams have started their 2011-12 seasons. The league currently has 30 teams aligned in five regional divisions-Northwest, Southwest, Rocky Mountain, Midwest, and Great Lakes. The season runs from early December 2011 to late February 2012.
World Series of Boxing: The team-based international boxing league called the World Series of Boxing has started its second season and again features 12 teams. Group A includes the Astana Arlans (Kazakhstan), Bangkok Elephants (Thailand), Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder (Italy), Dynamo Moscow (Russia), Los Angeles Matadors (USA), and Venky's Mumbai Fighters (India). Group B has the Baku Fires (Azerbaijan), Beijing Dragons (China), Istanbull Bosphorus (Turkey), Leipzig Leopards (Germany), Mexico Guerreros, and Paris United (France). The Pohang (South Korea) Poseidons were moved to Bangkok for 2011-12, but the Elephants have had to cancel some of its matches due to flooding in the country. Two USA teams called the Memphis Force and Miami Gallos were replaced by the new Mumbai Fighters and Leipzig Leopards clubs for 2011-12.
Midwest Indoor Lacrosse Association: The semi-pro MILA has announced its tenth team for its second season in 2012 will be called the Nebraska Fighting Perkins. The name comes from Edwin Perkins, the Hastings (NE) native that invented Kool-Aid. The team is planning to play home games in eastern Nebraska cities like Omaha and Lincoln.
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.
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