Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
February 6, 2012 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)
North American League: The independent NAL has announced it has added a team called the Abilene (TX) Prairie Dogs for the upcoming 2012 season. A former professional team called the Abilene Prairie Dogs played five seasons (1995-99) as part of the defunct Texas-Louisiana League. Abilene will be part of the league's six-team South Division that will have five other Texas-based teams-the Fort Worth Cats, Edinburg Roadrunners, McAllen Thunder, San Angelo Colts, and the Harlingen-based Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings.
American Association: The independent AA is undergoing a very preliminary look at the Birmingham (AL) market for a possible future team. The area's current stadium is occupied by the Birmingham Barons of the Double-A Southern League and is located in Hoover (AL), just south of Birmingham. The Barons are expected to vacate that stadium for a new downtown Birmingham stadium that is expected to be ready for the 2013 season. Hoover has received inquiries about its stadium from several other groups.
Carolina League: The city of Wilmington (NC) and Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves are reported to be in serious negotiations about constructing a new stadium for a Braves minor league affiliate in time for the 2015 season. The Braves' current affiliation agreement with the independently owned Lynchburg (VA) Hillcats of the high Class-A Carolina League expires after the 2014 season. The Braves would reportedly try to purchase its high Class-A affiliate and move it to Wilmington.
Northwoods League: The St. Cloud (MN) River Bats franchise in the summer-collegiate Northwoods League has been sold. Later this month, the team will announce its new name for the 2012 season.
Texas Collegiate League: The Texas Collegiate League plans to add a team in The Woodlands (TX), near Houston, for the 2012 season. The new team has announced a name-the-team contest.
Futures Collegiate Baseball League: The North Shore Navigators (Lynn, MA) team from the New England Collegiate Baseball League has come under new ownership and will move to the FCBL in 2012.
International Basketball League: The IBL has confirmed a new team called the Jersey G-Force, based in Jersey City (NJ), will play a short five-game schedule as a "branding team" in the 2012 season.
United Basketball League: The UBL's new Conway (AR) Bobcats team for 2012 is now called the Arkansas Bobcats.
American Basketball Association: The new ABA team that will be based in Decatur (GA) for the 2012-13 season has selected the name of the Southwest Fellowship Warriors.
Women's American Basketball Association: The proposed new WABA has added a new team called the Atlanta Glory to its list of expansion teams. A team by the same name played the first two full seasons (1996-98) in the defunct women's pro league called the American Basketball League, which folded midway through its 1998-99 fall-winter season. Other proposed WABA teams include the Indy's Finest, Seattle Lady Mountaineers, Chicago Lady Steam, and an unnamed team based in Greenville (NC).
American Basketball Association-Global: The international arm of the American Basketball Association known as ABA-Global recently invited two teams from the Philippines called San Miguel and Cebuana Lhuillier to be part of the ABA regular season. In addition to playing as part of the ABA, these teams would join other teams as part of the ABA-Global's proposed two-month international competition called the World Basketball Cup, which is now slated for April and May 2013 in Las Vegas. The ABA-Global hopes to have the three top ABA teams from the United States, two European teams, and teams from Mexico, Russia, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, and the Philippines as part of the competition.
Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League: The ACPBL's North Jersey Pros (Passaic) have signed a cross-promotional agreement with the New York Wizards of the Eastern Basketball Alliance that will allow the Pros to use players from the Wizards team, as needed, for their ACPBL games.
Lone Star Football League: The new Texas-based LSFL indoor league has revoked the membership of the new Mesquite Bandits team. The league determined the Bandits had not established an infrastructure that would allow the team to complete the 2012 season. The LSFL is now down to seven teams for its inaugural 2012 season. The league hopes to find new ownership for a possible return to Mesquite in 2013.
Canadian Football League: A group in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) wants to explore a possible CFL expansion team for the city. The league's current Saskatchewan Roughriders team is based in Regina. Saskatoon does not have a suitable CFL stadium and the CFL stated there have been no discussions about expansion to Saskatoon. The CFL plans to add a new Ottawa-based team in the next couple of years. After Ottawa, the CFL was considering the addition of another Eastern Division team, possibly in Moncton (New Brunswick), Halifax (Nova Scotia), or Quebec City.
Spring Professional Football League: The new SPFL plans to start play in 2013 with eight teams playing a spring schedule. Cities currently under consideration for teams include Memphis, Dallas, New York, Washington (DC), San Francisco, Philadelphia, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Phoenix, Houston, Seattle, Orlando, and Charlotte. Some of those associated with the new league were involved with previous spring football leagues called the XFL and NFL-Europe.
American Professional Football League2: The semi-pro APFL2 has made some changes to the ten teams that will be part of its inaugural 2012. New teams listed include the Denver Vigilantes, Denco Rattlers, Grand Junction Gladiators, and Wyoming Knights. The APFL2 is an 11-man outdoor league that will work under the indoor APFL and act as a feeder league to the indoor game. Indoor APFL players will be able to join the outdoor APFL2 when the indoor season is over. The eight-week APFL2 season will run from May 14 to July 8, 2012.
Central Hockey League: The Quad City Mallards of the CHL were reported to be having payroll problems this past week. The team has apparently corrected the situation and the league claims the team is not in danger of folding.
Federal Hockey League: The FHL is reportedly interested in placing a team in Johnstown (PA) for next season. The city had the Johnstown Chiefs team in the ECHL for over 20 years, but that team moved to Greenville (SC) for the 2010-11 season. The ECHL's Wheeling (WV) Nailers have scheduled ten of its home games in Johnstown over the past two seasons, but the Nailers franchise is currently up for sale and there is no guarantee this arrangement would continue under new ownership.
Eastern Junior Hockey League: The Tier III junior-level EJHL announced it will start a new 16-and-under league for the 2012-13 season.
National Hockey League: Although some investors appear to be interested in the buying the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes franchise, the league believes the team will be moved out of town after this season if a deal is not completed. The NHL has owned the franchise since it was purchased out of bankruptcy prior to the 2009-10 season and has been trying to sell the Coyotes ever since. The NHL has received subsidies from the city of Glendale for the past two seasons, but those are not expected to continue.
North American Hockey League: Of the 28 teams participating in the 2011-12 Tier II junior-level NAHL, 10 teams have not yet submitted promissory notes by the January 31, 2012 deadline in order to commit the teams to next season. These teams include the Alaska Avalanche, Coulee Region Chill, Dawson Creek Rage, Fresno Monsters, Michigan Warriors, St. Louis Bandits, Springfield (MO) Blues, Traverse City North Stars, Wenatchee Wild, and New Mexico Mustangs.
Women's Professional Soccer: After playing only three season, the WPS announced it will suspend operations for the 2012 season, largely due to a legal battle with the owner of the league's former magicJack team. The league claimed litigation was diverting resources from investment in the league. The WPS plans to return in 2013 and stated that all five franchises-the Atlanta Beat, Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence, Sky Blue FC, and Western New York Flash-will remain active. The Western New York Flash intends to field a professional team in 2012, possibly as a member of the United Soccer Leagues W-League or in the Women's Premier Soccer League.
Pecos Soccer League: The new independent PSL plans to start its inaugural 2012 spring season later this month with five teams each playing an eight-game schedule from February 19 to April 8, 2012. The first-year teams include the Hatch (NM) Chile Kickers, Alamogordo (NM) Stealth, El Paso (TX) Santos, Roswell (NM) Aliens, and Juarez Juventus (El Paso). The organizer of the independent baseball league known as the Pecos League is leading the efforts to create the new El Paso-based PSL. Two other teams called the Santa Fe (NM) Curve and the Las Cruces (NM) Guerreros also tried, but could not start as planned in 2012.
United Soccer Leagues - Super 20 League: The USL men's Super 20 League, which is for elite players in the 17 to 20 age group, has added teams called the Corpus Christi Fuel and Halcones USA (Roma, TX) to the previous eight teams announced for its new 2012 Mid-South Division. The Corpus Christi Fuel had a team in the Southern Premier Soccer League for its 2010-11 fall-winter and 2011 summer seasons, while the Halcones USA had a team in the 2011-12 fall-winter season of the Texas Premier Soccer League.
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.
North American Hockey League Stories from February 6, 2012
- NAHL Announces Combat Hockey 3 Stars of the Week - NAHL
- Jacks Acquire Doucet From Topeka - Odessa Jackalopes
- Texas, Wichita Falls defend home ice successfully in three-game series - Wichita Falls Wildcats
- Justin Quenneville to Coach 2012 NAHL Selects U18 Team - Corpus Christi IceRays
- IceRays Add Two Former USHL/OHL Players - Corpus Christi IceRays
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
- Tornado Weekly - Texas Tornado
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