Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
April 23, 2012 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Atlantic Baseball League: A developer plans to move forward with plans to build a 6,300-seat stadium for a potential ABL franchise in Malden (MA), near Boston. It is uncertain as to whether the league would accept an application for a team in Malden, since the league's Bridgeport (CT) Bluefish franchise is only about 160 miles away. A proposed Malden team could end up as part of the Can-Am League.
Eastern League: The city of Ottawa continues to show support for a Double-A Eastern League franchise possibly moving to the city by the 2013 season, although there has been no official announcement as to which current team would be involved in a move.
Pacific Coast League: The city of El Paso (TX) is trying to raise funds to build a new ballpark that could become home to a Triple-A PCL franchise. Although the city has the current El Paso Diablos in the independent American Association, a group has been working to bring an affiliated team back to the city since a former El Paso Diablos team in the Double-A Texas League moved to Springfield (MO) for the 2005 season. El Paso is targeting the league's current Tucson Padres franchise, whose owner is looking to sell since plans to move the team to a proposed new ballpark in Escondido (CA) fell through. A group trying to build a new downtown ballpark in Boise (ID) is also interested in the Tucson Padres.
National Basketball Association: The NBA has reached an agreement to sell the New Orleans Hornets to the owner of the National Football League's New Orleans Saints, so the team will remain in the city. A proposed new arena deal that was to keep the league's Sacramento Kings from moving appears to be unraveling and there is again talk of the franchise possibly moving to Anaheim.
National Basketball Association Development League (D-League): The mayor of Ralston (NE) in the Omaha area recently met with officials of the NBA's Denver Nuggets franchise about the Nuggets placing its NBA D-League affiliate in a new 3,500-seat arena that should be completed in time for the 2012-13 season.
International Basketball League: The IBL has started its eighth spring-summer season for 2012. Full-schedule teams include the Salem Soldiers, Bellingham (WA) Slam, Edmonton Energy (Alberta), Olympia (WA) Reign, Portland (OR) Chinooks, Vancouver (WA) Volcanoes, Orlando Venom, and a Japanese all-star travel team called the Nippon Tornadoes. Two other teams called the Jersey G-Force and Yamhill (OR) Highflyers will play as short-schedule, or "branding teams" in 2012. The league standings also list an unnamed Los Angeles team, which has a couple of games on each of the schedules for Vancouver, Olympia, and Bellingham.
American Basketball Association: The ABA has announced a new team called the Orange County (CA) Novastars will be added to its SoCal Division for the 2012-13 season. The league's previously announced expansion team for Columbia (SC) is now listed as the Palmetto State Young Rizers.
World Basketball Association Exposure League: The WBA Exposure League team list for 2012 has been updated and now includes teams called the Atlanta Blaze (Brookhaven), Conyers (GA) Court Kings, Gastonia (NC) Knights, Gwinnett (GA) Majic, Mauldin Stars (Greenville, SC), Rome (GA) Gladiators, and the Upstate Heat (Anderson, SC).
Women's National Basketball Association: The WNBA held is player draft for its upcoming 2012 season that will feature the same 12 teams as last season.
American Indoor Football: The Prescott-based Arizona Outlaws of the AIF lost one of its investors and have had to cancel its three remaining home games on the 2012 schedule. It is uncertain if the team will play out its remaining road schedule. There have also been reports that the league's Stockton-based California Eagles franchise has folded and the league plans to rework its West Coast schedule.
Lingerie Football League-United States: The LFL has announced a new team based in the Omaha area will be part of the league's new spring-summer season that starts in 2013. The LFL-US recently announced a switch from a fall-winter season that was operated for three seasons (2009-2012). The league plans to add at least one more team prior to its 2013 spring-summer season.
National Indoor Football Association: The new four-team NIFA has a revised schedule for its inaugural 2012 season that starts next weekend. It looks as though the team previously listed as the Humble Colts was replaced by the Humble Gators, now the Bayou City Gators. The other three teams are the DFW Texans, Texas Pirates, and Conroe (TX) Jaguars.
National Hockey League: The NHL stated that it is helping the New York Islanders franchise remain in Nassau County despite a rejection by voters last year to support a new arena. The Islanders have scheduled an exhibition game against the New Jersey Devils this fall at the new Brooklyn-based Barclays Center being built for the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association. This has led to speculation the Islanders could move to Brooklyn, but the NHL does not currently support such a move.
ECHL: The prospects of the Elmira (NY) Jackals team remaining in the city for next season are uncertain. The team ownership has been in an arena dispute with Chemung County and that is now in court. If the county takes control of the arena, the Jackals would most likely not return.
North American Hockey League: The Tier II junior-level NAHL is reportedly in discussions about relocating its Palmer-based Alaska Avalanche franchise to Johnstown (PA) for the 2012-13 season. The ownership of the league's Alexandria (MN) Blizzard has decided to move that team to Brookings (SD) for the 2012-13 season. The ownership will continue to operate a team called the Alexandria Blizzard, but it will drop down a level to the Tier III North American 3 Hockey League, which is affiliated with the NAHL, for 2012-13. The Blizzard entered the NAHL as the Minnesota Blizzard for the 2003-04 season.
Great Lakes Junior Hockey League: The Tier III GLJHL recently granted approval for the St. Ignace Firehawks organization in the Sault Ste. Marie (MI) area to join for the 2012-13 season. The league has apparently run into problems with USA Hockey in getting approval for this team and has discussed leaving USA Hockey for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
Major League Soccer: The MLS is assisting in the stadium development process for a proposed second New York City area MLS franchise, which would be a rival for the current New York Red Bulls team that plays in a new stadium in Harrison (NJ). Although there has been interest for MLS expansion teams from groups in Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, and several other areas, the MLS is focusing on New York City for its 20th franchise. One potential group called the New York Cosmos wants to operate the New York City MLS franchise.
North American Lacrosse League: The NALL has completed its inaugural short season called the "NALL Pro Invitation Season", but plans to expand and return next season. The league ran into problems prior to its season when several teams decided to switch to a summer season. The NALL moved forward with three teams called the Kentucky Stickhorses (Louisville), Boston Rockhoppers, and Lehigh Valley Flying Dutchmen (Allentown, PA), but Kentucky was the only team with an arena lease. The 2012 season consisted of six games played in Louisville and involved the Stickhorses playing two games against Boston, one game against Lehigh Valley, one game against the Chicago Outlaws of the semi-pro Midwest Indoor Lacrosse Association, and two games against a non-league team called the Jersey Jesters.
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 April 23, 2012
- Storm Chasers Defeat Sounds on Monday, 6-3 - Omaha Storm Chasers
- Round Rock Uses Three Home Runs to Beat Zephyrs 8-1 - New Orleans Zephyrs
- RedHawks Drop Third Straight, 3-2 - Oklahoma City RedHawks
- Round Rock Express Clobber New Orleans 8-1 - Round Rock Express
- 'Topes Edge RedHawks for Lucky Number Seven - Albuquerque Isotopes
- Sounds Suffer 8th Consecutive Loss, Fall 6-3 at Omaha - Nashville Sounds
- Tip a 51 Luncheon on Saturday, May 19 to Benefit Candlelighters Childhood Cancer - Las Vegas 51s
- Round Rock Express - Game Notes at New Orleans Zephyrs - Round Rock Express
- Offense Quiet in Loss to Memphis - Iowa Cubs
- RedHawks Game Notes - Oklahoma City RedHawks
- Alex Castellanos Named PCL Player of the Week - Albuquerque Isotopes
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
- Ramirez Named PCL Pitcher of the Week - Round Rock Express
- Castellanos And Ramirez Named Players Of The Week - PCL
- Storm Chasers to Air Seven Games on Time Warner Cable Metro Sports - Omaha Storm Chasers
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.