Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
March 5, 2012 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)
North American League: The Chico (CA) Outlaws of the independent NAL announced they will not play in the upcoming 2012 season. The team was unable to work out a suitable lease with Chico State University. The Outlaws were part of the Golden Baseball League for six seasons (2005-10) before playing as part of the NAL in 2011.
New York-Penn League: West Virginia University wants to build a new ballpark in Morgantown (WV) and possibly share the facility with a short-season Class-A team in the NY-Penn League. This would be similar to the arrangement in which Penn State University shares its campus ballpark with the league's State College Spikes team.
Midwest Collegiate League: A new team called the Northwest Indiana Oilmen, based in Whiting (IN), has announced plans to be part of the 2012 MCL season.
Futures Collegiate Baseball League: The Brockton (MA) Rox and the Pittsfield (MA) Suns will be two new teams in the 2012 FCBL. The owner of the Brockton (MA) Rox from the independent professional Can-Am League left that league after the 2011 season to create a 2012 summer-collegiate team. The Pittsfield market also had a 2011 Can-Am League team called the Pittsfield Colonials, but that team folded.
Northwoods League: The St. Cloud (MN) River Bats team from the 2011 summer-collegiate Northwoods League recently came under new ownership and announced the team will be called the St. Cloud Rox for the 2012 season. The league has also expressed interest in placing a 2013 team in Kalamazoo (MI). That market has been open since the Kalamazoo Kings of the independent professional Frontier League stopped play after the 2010 season.
National Basketball Association: The NBA's Sacramento Kings have apparently come to a tentative agreement on plans for a new downtown arena that should keep the franchise from relocating. There had been talk about the Kings possibly moving to either Anaheim or Seattle.
National Basketball League of Canada: The NBL-Canada is considering the city of Sydney (Nova Scotia) on Cape Breton Island for a possible team in the league's second season. The league had the Nova Scotia-based Halifax Rainmen team in its inaugural 2011-12 season.
International Basketball League: The IBL's former Salem (OR) Stampede team will return to the IBL for its upcoming 2012 spring-summer season. The team has been renamed the Salem Soldiers. The Stampede played in the IBL for the 2006 and 2007 seasons and was part of the 2010 springtime season in the National Athletic Basketball League.
American Basketball Association: The ABA has announced it will add a second Chicago-based team called the Windy City Monsters as a 2012-13 expansion team. The owners of the Anchorage-based Alaska Quake plan to add a second team called the Alaska 49ers for the 2012-13 season.
Eastern Basketball Alliance: The Philadelphia Live team has been removed from the Northern Division of the EBA. The team had forfeited four of its first five scheduled games in the 2011-12 season.
American Indoor Football: The new AIF has started its inaugural 2012 season with seven teams in an East Coast division and five teams in a West Coast division. The East Coast includes new teams called the Cape Fear Heroes (Fayetteville, NC), Maryland Reapers (Frederick), Macon (GA) Steel, and Carolina Force (Concord, NC); two travel teams called the Virginia Badgers and Tri-State Redhawks; and the Harrisburg Stampede, which was part of the 2011 Southern Indoor Football League. The West Coast Division includes the new Arizona Outaws (Prescott Valley), California Eagles (Stockton), Ontario (CA) Warriors, and travel teams called the Nevada Lynx and North Alameda Knights. The Nevada Lynx team was a last minute replacement for the previously announced Las Vegas-based Sin City Blackjacks.
United Indoor Football League: The new UIFL, which evolved from the six-team 2011 Ultimate Indoor Football League, has started its inaugural 2012 season with 11 teams. The Johnstown (PA) Generals, Eastern Kentucky Drillers (Pikeville), and the Huntington (WV) Hammer, now a 2012 travel team, are the three teams returning from last season's Ultimate Indoor Football League. Of the eight other UIFL teams, five are new teams and three teams have joined from other leagues. The new teams are the Florida Tarpons (Fort Myers-Naples), Lakeland (FL) Raiders, Mississippi Hound Dogs (Tupelo), and travel teams called the Western Pennsylvania Sting and Rome Rampage. The Cincinnati Commandos and Marion (OH) Blue Racers joined the UIFL from the Continental Indoor Football League, while the Erie Explosion came from last season's Southern Indoor Football League.
Lingerie Football League-Canada: The LFL Canada has announced the fourth of six teams for its inaugural 2012 season will be located in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan). The three other teams announced so far include the Toronto Triumph, which played in the LFL United States for the 2011-12 season, the BC Angels from Abbotsford (British Columbia), and a yet-to-be-named team in Regina (Saskatchewan). The league is expected to announce two additional eastern teams to join Toronto in an Eastern Conference.
Federal Hockey League: Due to arena issues in Alexandria Bay (NY), the Thousand Islands Privateers of the FHL will be looking for a new home next season. The city of Watertown (NY) plans to meet with the team about a possible move to that city's arena next season. Other nearby cities like Clayton (NY) and Ogdensburg (NY) have also expressed interest in the Privateers.
North American Hockey League: The Dawson Creek (British Columbia) Rage, a team in the West Division of the Tier II junior-A NAHL, is considering a possible move to the Alberta Junior Hockey League (Canadian Junior-A) for next season since a few of the NAHL West Division teams might not return in 2012-13. The Palmer-based Alaska Avalanche has been granted dormancy for next season and the team will be put up for sale. The Wenatchee (WA) Wild team is trying to move to the junior-A British Columbia Hockey League for 2012-13, but the BCHL wants the Wild to be a 2013-14 expansion team. The Wenatchee NAHL franchise is closing in on a move to Johnstown (PA) for 2012-13, but will move only if the Wild is accepted by the BCHL for next season. The league's Traverse City (MI) North Stars team has been sold to the group that owns the Soo Eagles team, which is based in Sault Ste. Marie (MI) and has been part of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. The Soo Eagles will take Traverse City's spot in the NAHL North division for next season. The NAHL had a previous team based in the Sault Ste. Marie area called the Soo Kewadin Indians from 1995 to 2005. The Soo Eagles rights in the NOJHL could be moved to another Michigan city like Gaylord, Alpena, or possibly Traverse City for the 2012-13 season.
North American 3 Hockey League: With the Soo Eagles moving from the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League to the Tier-II junior-level North American Hockey League next season, the Eagles are reportedly pursuing the purchase of a Tier-III team in the NA3HL to be located in nearby St. Ignace (MI). This team would serve as a developmental feeder team for the Soo Eagles.
Canadian Soccer League: The KW United FC, which represented Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario) in its first season as part of the 2011 CSL Second Division, will move up to the First Division for 2012 as the SC Waterloo. The renamed club plans to make regional connections with the neighboring cites of Cambridge, Guelph, and Stratford, in addition to Kitchener and Waterloo.
Major League Soccer: The MLS commissioner paid a visit to Orlando (FL), which wants to be considered for a future MLS franchise. The owner of the Orlando City FC in the United Soccer Leagues Division III PRO league wants to eventually grow the club into an MLS franchise. The league plans to add a 20th team in the near future, but a second team in the New York City area has been considered the frontrunner. Orlando would need a soccer-specific stadium to host an MLS team. Some other markets under consideration for MLS expansion include Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, and Minneapolis.
United Soccer Leagues Super-20 Men's League: A Canadian team called the Atlantic SC Wild Boars, based in Saint John (New Brunswick), will have an under-20 men's team playing in the New England Division of the 2012 USL Super-20 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 March 5, 2012
- NAHL Announces Combat Hockey 3 Stars of the Week - NAHL
- Wichita Falls Wildcats' Insider for March 5, 2012 - Wichita Falls Wildcats
- Jets Bobblehead Giveaway Thursday Night - Janesville Jets
- IceRays Golf Tournament Upcoming - Corpus Christi IceRays
- Rays Report #24: IceRays Now Six Points Ahead of Odessa - Corpus Christi IceRays
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
- St. Louis Forward Joe Kalisz Wins NAHL Player of the Month - NAHL
- Wild Pick up a Point in Shootout Loss - Wenatchee Wild
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