Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
April 9, 2012 - United Football League (UFL)
American Association: A new ballpark in Montgomery County (TX) near Houston was originally planned for an American Association team to start play in 2012, but it has faced some delays. The project is now reportedly tied to a proposed new theme park to be located next to the ballpark. Last summer, officials in Montgomery County were said to have initiated talks with the Atlantic Baseball League about the proposed ballpark.
Mountain Collegiate Baseball League: The city of Casper (WY) will be home to a summer-collegiate MCBL team called the Casper Cutthroats in 2012. After the 2011 baseball season, the city's Casper Ghosts franchise in the affiliated advanced-rookie Pioneer League relocated to Grand Junction (CO).
West Coast Basketball League: The WCBL listed eight teams in the Los Angeles area that will be part of its fourth spring season that starts this month. Teams include the High Desert Spartans, Hollywood Shooting Stars, Nationwide AllStars, Newport Beach Surf, Santa Barbara Breakers, Venice Beach Ninjas, Ventura Jets, and West Los Angeles Advantage.
Florida Basketball Association: The proposed new FBA has announced it has removed the Miami Stars and Panama City Dream from its inaugural 2012 schedule, but these teams could be considered for expansion in 2013. The FBA will start its 2012 season on May 5 with four teams-the Florida Flight, Heartland Prowl, Palm Beach Titans, and Tampa Bay Rebels.
National Basketball Association: The NBA reports it has three groups interested in buying the league-owned New Orleans Hornets franchise. The league wants the team to stay in New Orleans and apparently has a long-term arena lease that would keep the team in the city through 2024. Although the Sacramento Kings and the city announced plans last month for a proposed new arena that would keep the team from relocating, a dispute has started over which party will pay some of the initial development costs.
National Basketball Association Development League: The NBA's Golden State Warriors, owners of the Dakota Wizards (Bismarck, ND) franchise in the NBA D-League, are reportedly trying to move the team closer to home and have a proposal from Santa Cruz (CA) to build a 3,200-seat arena for the team. The Wizards became part of the NBA D-League for the 2006-07 season after stints in the Continental Basketball Association and International Basketball Association. The Warriors purchased the Wizards prior to the 2011-12 season and the Wizards became the Warriors' NBA D-League affiliate. The proposed new arena in Santa Cruz still needs city approval next month and the league would also have to approve the franchise relocation.
National Basketball League of Canada: The NBL-Canada is reported to have seven different ownership groups in the province of Ontario interested in teams for next season. These include Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor, and two groups each in Kitchener and Mississauga. The league's Summerside Storm (Prince Edward Island) hopes to return to the city next season, but has yet to sign a lease. Team ownership was said to be considering Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) as a possible back-up location if a deal in Summerside falls through. The league's Quebec Kebs franchise has apparently lost its lease at the University of Laval and is apparently looking to move or sell the team. Possible locations mentioned for the team are Montreal and Sherbrooke in Quebec or Kingston (Ontario).
American Basketball Association: The ABA has announced it will place a 2012-13 team in Columbia (SC). An ABA team called the Columbia Rottweilers was announced for the 2006-07 season, but never materialized.
Women's United States Basketball Association Development League: The proposed 32-team WUSBA, which plans to start its inaugural fall-winter season in November 2015, has announced the creation of a ten-team WUSBADL. The developmental league will have teams based in WUSBA cities and play an eight-week season starting in August 2015. The WUSBA will utilize this developmental league to select players for its upcoming seasons.
Continental Indoor Football League: The CIFL's Chicago Vipers team has come under new ownership and was renamed the Chicago Pythons. After only four games in the 2012 season, the league's new Port Huron (MI) Patriots franchise was reported to be having financial difficulties.
United Football League: The UFL is moving forward toward a 2012 season that could have five participating teams. The four teams-Las Vegas Locomotives (Locos), Omaha Nighthawks, Sacramento Mountain Lions, and Virginia Destroyers (Norfolk)-from last season are expected to return with the possible addition of an expansion team. San Antonio appears to be at the head of the expansion team list, although Portland (OR) and Southern California have also been discussed.
United Indoor Football League: The Johnstown (PA) Generals of the UIFL are having financial problems and it is uncertain as to whether the team will make it to the end of the season before folding. The owner of the Generals also owns the league's Western Pennsylvania Sting travel team.
Stars Football League: The SFL is still trying to place a team in Los Angeles for its upcoming second season that starts on May 20, 2012.
Lingerie Football League: The four-team LFL Canada has announced the schedule for its inaugural 2012 season. Each team will play four games from August 25 to October 23, 2012. The LFL announced plans to play an exhibition game with league All-Stars in Monterrey (Mexico) on May 5, 2012. The LFL held a similar game back in 2010 and wants to expand into Mexico. Previously, an LFL All-Star exhibition game was announced for Australia in June 2012 as a precursor for a proposed league in that country by 2013.
ECHL: After only one season in the ECHL, the Chicago Express franchise announced it has withdrawn its membership from the league. All other 2011-12 teams will return for the 2012-13 season. The ECHL plans to add two new teams called the San Francisco Bulls and Orlando Solar Bears for 2012-13.
North American Hockey League: The Dawson Creek (British Columbia) Rage of the Tier II junior-level NAHL has folded. The Rage ownership had hoped to purchase the St. Albert Steel of the Alberta Junior Hockey League and switch to the AJHL, which would offer teams closer to Dawson Creek than some of the teams in the NAHL West Division. Instead, the St. Albert Steel has decided not to sell and will relocate to Whitecourt (Alberta). The Dawson Creek Rage joined the NAHL for the 2010-11 season.
Federal Hockey League: The FHL has announced it is no longer pursuing the Lewiston-Auburn (ME) area for a 2012-13 franchise. The Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League and some junior hockey teams have moved portions of their 2012-13 schedules to Lewiston due to construction of their arena in Portland. The FHL played five regular-season games in Lewiston during the 2011-12 season as part of "The Maine Event" to test the market.
Major League Soccer: The owner of the National Football League's Minnesota Vikings is moving forward on a new stadium for the team and wants an MLS franchise to share the stadium. The owner of the Minnesota Stars FC of the Division II North American Soccer League sees the potential of the Stars eventually moving up to the MLS. Former Division II teams in Seattle (Sounders), Portland (Timbers), Vancouver (Whitecaps), and Montreal (Impact) have moved up to the MLS over the past few years.
North American Soccer League: The Division II NASL has started its 2012 season and again will operate with eight teams. These include the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks (Cary, NC), FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Minnesota Stars FC, Puerto Rico Islanders, San Antonio Scorpions, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The only franchise change was the new San Antonio Scorpions team replacing the Montreal Impact, which moved up to Major League Soccer for 2012. The NSC Minnesota Stars were renamed the Minnesota Stars FC, while FC Tampa Bay ended a nickname dispute and was able to change to the Tampa Bay Rowdies for the 2012 season.
United Soccer Leagues-PRO: The Division III USL PRO league has started its 2012 season with 11 teams aligned into one table. Of the 12 teams that finished the 2011 season, only FC New York did not return from last season. The returning teams include the Antigua Barracuda FC, Charleston (SC) Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, Orlando City Lions, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester (NY) Rhinos, and Wilmington (NC) Hammerheads.
Women's Premier Soccer League: The WPSL has announced several new teams that have been added for the upcoming 2012 season. These include the United FC Binghamton, NTC Phoenix (National Training Center), Boca (FL) Blast, and the Tidewater Sharks based in Williamsburg (VA). The previously announced Issaquah (WA) Soccer Club, which is based just east of Seattle, has announced it will field two WPSL teams called the Issaquah First Team and the Issaquah U23 Team in the 2012 Northwest Division.
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.
United Football League Stories from April 9, 2012
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
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