Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
January 2, 2012 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Pacific Coast League: The proposed stadium to be built in Escondido (CA) for the Tucson Padres of the Triple-A PCL appears to be in trouble. The California Supreme Court decided not to overturn a decision to abolish development agencies that would have provided funds for the proposed stadium. The Padres' owner planned to have the PCL team play two seasons in Tucson before moving to Escondido. Now the owner will wait to see if private financing becomes available before deciding whether to sell the team.
Pecos Spring League: The new Santa Fe (NM) Fuego (Fire) team will be the sixth member of the 2012 Pecos League. The team underwent several nickname changes from Sangres, Zozobras, and Mountain Lions before settling on Fuego. City officials did not like the Mountain Lions name proposed by the league and offered a some alternative choices that included Fuego, Conquistadors, and Senators.
Pecos Spring League: The independent Pecos League, which completed its inaugural season this past summer, will host the Pecos Spring League in Houston (TX) during the month of March 2012. This developmental league will provide exposure for players looking to latch on to an independent or affiliated team. The league currently lists four teams-the Galveston Lions, Nor Cal Pirates, Carlsbad Bats, and Clovis Pioneers.
Australian Baseball League: Major League Baseball provides the majority of financial support for the Australian Baseball League, whose 2011-12 season is underway with the same six teams as last season. These include the Adelaide Bite, Brisbane Bandits, Canberra Cavalry, Melbourne Aces, Perth Heat, and Sydney Blue Sox. The season runs from early November 2011 to late January 2012.
Universal Basketball League: The UBL now has eight teams for its upcoming 2011 season with the addition of the Conway (AR) Bobcats to the Northern Division and the Austin Rhythm to the Southern Division. A team called the Conway Cyclones is a member of the American Basketball Association.
Premier Basketball League: The PBL has started its 2012 season with 11 teams split into a five-team Eastern Division and a six-team Central Division. Only the Dayton Air Strikers and Rochester RazorSharks returned from last season and they are part of the East Division with the Charleston (WV) Gunners, Lake Michigan Admirals, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (PA) Steamers. The Central Division has the Central Illinois Drive, Chicago Muscle, Indiana Diesels (Columbus), Northwest Indiana Stars, Sauk Valley (IL) Predators, and St. Louis Phoenix. The Lake Michigan Admirals, Indiana Diesels, Northwest Indiana Stars, and St. Louis Phoenix (formerly the St. Louis Pioneers) were associated with the American Basketball Association last season.
Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League: The ACPBL has confirmed that the Norfolk Tru Hope Trailblazers have been removed from the 2011-12 schedule. The ACPBL team called The Enterprise has also left due to the league's decision. The Trailblazers plan to play some of its scheduled home games against teams from the American Basketball Association and Premier Basketball League. The team will explore joining another league, but the owner ultimately wants to join the National Basketball Association D-League.
Continental Basketball League: After losing several teams to the new Tobacco Road Basketball League, the CBL announced the new Raleigh (NC) Rough Riders team. Another team called the South Florida Stars is apparently trying to join for the 2012 season and has its logo listed on the league web site. Still listed as other possible teams are the Birmingham Sabers, Savannah Wildcats, Gainesville Galaxy, Tampa Bay Saints, and Heartland Prowl. A proposed team called the Palm Beach Titans is no longer listed.
Sugar N Spice Football League: The women's full-contact SSFL, which will apparently borrow some of the ideas from the Lingerie Football League, plans to start its inaugural indoor season in 2012. Six Texas-based teams called the Austin Angels, Texas Cowgirls (San Antonio), Corpus Christi (TX) Mermaids, McAllen Mystics, Houston Lady Panthers, and Laredo Roses have been approved for 2012. Additional teams like the Kansas City Tease, New Orleans Baby Dollz, and St. Louis are still pending.
Southern Indoor Football League: The Trenton (NJ) Steel, which played its inaugural season as part of the 2011 SIFL, will not play in the upcoming 2012 season due to financial concerns. The owner is seeking new investors with the hope of playing a 2013 season in another league. The SIFL is considered dead for 2012 as most of the other 2011 SIFL teams have scattered to other new leagues called the Lone Star Football League, Professional Indoor Football League, and America Indoor Football. Two once-proposed SIFL teams during the 2011 season were the Tennessee Gamblers and the Florida Stingrays. The Knoxville-based Gamblers were seeking entry into the SIFL for 2012, but now state the team is trying to join the Indoor Football League. The Fort Myers-based Florida Stingrays had signed a letter of intent to join the SIFL for 2012. Last month the Stingrays announced plans to play an outdoor 11-man spring-summer season as part of the semi-pro Southern Amateur Football Association.
Canadian Football League: The proposed new CFL franchise in Ottawa now hopes to start play in the 2014 season. The team was supposed to start in 2013, but work on the city's stadium renovation and adjacent redevelopment area have been delayed by some local opposition. The franchise has again confirmed the new Ottawa CFL franchise will not use the Rough Riders nickname, which was last used in 1996 by the former Ottawa Rough Riders, a longtime member of the CFL. The league's Regina-based Saskatchewan Roughriders signed off on approval of a new Ottawa franchise only if the team would not use "Rough Riders" or any variation like "Ottawa Riders" as its team name. The team will most likely not be called the Ottawa Renegades, which was the city's most recent CFL franchise that lasted only four seasons (2002-05). The Ottawa franchise owner has also expressed interest in bringing a professional soccer team to the renovated Ottawa stadium in the future.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League: The new Sherbrooke (Quebec) expansion franchise that will start play in the 2012-13 season of the QMJHL will be called the Sherbrooke Phoenix. This will bring the league back to 18 teams. After the 2010-11 season, the QMJHL had purchased the Lewiston (ME) Maineiacs, dissolved the franchise, and announced a new Sherbrooke expansion team would start in 2012-13. Sherbrooke had two previous QMJHL teams called the Castors (Beavers) from 1969 to 1982 and 1998 to 2003. Ironically, this last Sherbrooke Castors team had moved to Lewiston to become the Maineiacs for the 2003-04 season.
National Hockey League: A group trying to build a 19,500-seat arena in Markham, just north of Toronto, is hoping the NHL will eventually allow a second franchise in the Toronto area. The league's Toronto Maple Leafs claim to have exclusive rights to the Greater Toronto Area. In 2009, a prospective buyer of the Phoenix Coyotes franchise, which is currently owned by the league, wanted to move the team to Hamilton (Ontario) and faced resistance from the NHL and the Maple Leafs. Quebec City has been mentioned as a possible future location for the Phoenix Coyotes, but there is no potential ownership group and a proposed new arena has faced financing issues.
United Soccer Leagues - Premier Development League: The PDL has announced a new team called the Ocala (FL) Stampede has been added for the upcoming 2012 season. The team will most likely be part of the Southeast Division, which includes several other Florida-based teams.
Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League: The CMISL was unable to provide a schedule to the Professional Arena Soccer League, so for the first time in three seasons CMISL teams will not play an interlocking schedule with PASL teams. The CMISL had only three teams called the Calgary United, Edmonton Drillers, and Winnipeg Alliance in 2011 and was unable to secure a franchise in Vancouver (British Columbia) for 2012. In late November 2011, the Winnipeg Alliance announced it would not be part of the CMISL in 2012 due to high travel costs associated with playing teams in Edmonton and Calgary. The CMISL has yet to post a 2012 schedule.
Premier Arena Soccer League: The new Tucson team in the 2011-12 PASL-Premier season is called Maracana Tucson. The ASC Warriors team has been replaced by the Avondale United.
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.
Pacific Coast League Stories from January 2, 2012
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
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