Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
June 18, 2012 - North American Soccer League (NASL)
Carolina League: Plans to move the Lynchburg (VA) Hillcats franchise of the high Class-A Carolina League to a proposed new ballpark in Wilmington (NC) have hit a snag. A petition for opposition to using public funds for the new ballpark has been filed. The petition and could be implemented or put up for vote.
West Coast League: The summer-collegiate WCL has officially announced plans to add a team in Vancouver (British Columbia) for the 2013 season. The city last had the Vancouver Seals pro team for two seasons (2009-10) in the independent Golden Baseball League.
National Basketball Association Development League (D-League): The Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association have officially announced the name of its new NBA D-League affiliate for next season will be the Santa Cruz (CA) Warriors. The Warriors are still in the process of a deal to move its Dakota Wizards D-League affiliate from Bismarck (ND) to Santa Cruz. A new 3,200-seat arena planned for Santa Cruz has yet to be built.
Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League: The ACPBL's proposed summertime league will be based at one location in Brooklyn (NY) and will start June 23, 2012. The league's Manhattan Pride, New York City 524, and North Jersey Pros will be participating, as well as some new ACPBL franchises and teams from the Eastern Basketball Alliance.
Independent Basketball Association: The IBA is nearing the end of its first springtime season with ten full-schedule teams. A new IBA team called the Malibu (CA) Pirates played a couple of games against the league's Los Angeles Lightning team last month. Two other short-schedule teams for 2012 include the St. Louis Trotters and the Las Vegas Hoop Dreams.
American Basketball Association: The ABA has announced a new team called the Oakland County (MI) Cowboys in the Detroit area will be added to the league's North Central Division for the 2012-13 season.
Indoor Football League: The Reading (PA) Express of the IFL plan to sit out the 2013 season, but the owners will pay a league fee to keep the franchise alive for a possible return. The Reading Express started play in the 2006 American Indoor Football League, which evolved into the American Indoor Football Association in 2007. The Express played four seasons (2007-10) in the AIFA before switching to the IFL for the 2011 season.
Lone Star Football League: The indoor Texas-based LSFL has announced a new team called the San Angelo Bandits will start play in the 2013 season. The current owner of the league's Amarillo Venom plans to sell that franchise and operate the Bandits. This was the same owner that operated a previous indoor team called the San Angelo Stampede Express, which last played as part of the Indoor Football League for its 2010 season. The Stampede Express sat out the 2011 season and became a dormant LSFL franchise when the LSFL was being formed for its inaugural 2012 season. The LSFL briefly had a "Bandits" team called the Mesquite Bandits that was announced for its 2012 season, but that franchise never got off the ground.
American Indoor Football: The AIF resurrected its California Eagles team, which was a Stockton-based Western Division team that folded earlier in the season, to face the Eastern Division's Cape Fear Heroes (Fayetteville, NC) in the league championship game. The AIF's Ontario (CA) Warriors team had dominated the Western Division, but left the league a couple of weeks ago since the Western Division had fallen apart and consisted of only travel teams or fill-in teams from outdoor semi-pro leagues.
Canadian Football League: The Hamilton (Ontario) Tiger-Cats of the CFL are still looking for a home for the 2013 season, since renovations to its current home stadium will begin after the 2012 season. The team had hoped to play at least five home games at McMaster University in Hamilton, but the university recently dropped out of negotiations.
Stars Football League: The outdoor SFL has announced a revised schedule for its second season in 2012. The league has dropped the Port St. Lucie Ironmen and will operate with only three other Florida-based teams called the Fort Lauderdale Barracudas, Daytona Beach Racers, and Fort Myers Swamp Dogs. The 2012 season will again be a short schedule of games in June and July.
Federal Hockey League: The city of Watertown (NY) has agreed to become the new home to the Thousand Islands Privateers franchise of the FHL for the 2012-13 season. The Privateers were based in Alexandria Bay (NY), about 30 miles north of Watertown, for its first two seasons (2010-12) in the FHL. The Brooklyn Aviators and Akwesasne Warriors teams will not return for the 2012-13 FHL season and players from those teams were part of a dispersal draft. The owner of the league's New Jersey Outlaws, based in Wayne (NJ), is reportedly trying to work out a deal to move the team to Williamsport (PA).
Ligue Nord Americaine de Hockey: The Quebec-based semi-pro LNAH, or North American Hockey League, plans to add its first non-Quebec team when the Cornwall (Ontario) River Kings join the league for the 2012-13 season. The league recently announced plans to move its Windsor Wild team to Cornwall. The Wild had entered the league for the 2011-12 season when the Sherbrooke Saint-Francois Saints team moved to the city of Windsor (Quebec), just north of Sherbrooke. Sherbrooke will be home to the new Sherbrooke Phoenix expansion team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for 2012-13.
Midwest Junior Hockey League: The new MWJHL, which is affiliated with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), will have a team called the Traverse City (MI) Cohos when the league starts its inaugural season in 2012-13. The fishing-related name is taken from the coho salmon. Traverse City just lost its Tier II junior hockey team called the Traverse City North Stars, which had played six seasons (2005-12) as part of the North American Hockey League before moving to Sault Ste. Marie (MI) for 2012-13.
American West Hockey League: The junior-level AWHL has announced that the Yellowstone Quake, based in Cody (WY), has moved to the American West Hockey League for the 2012-13 season. The Quake had been part of the junior-level Northern Pacific Hockey League (NORPAC) since the 2006-07 season when it took over the NORPAC's Coeur d'Alene (ID) Colts team.
Major League Soccer: The new 18,000-seat soccer-specific stadium for the San Jose Earthquakes of the MLS could open as early as next season. This would be the end of a long stadium process that caused the city's original MLS franchise to leave town. The San Jose Clash was an original MLS member in 1996 and was renamed the Earthquakes prior to the 2000 season. The Earthquakes closed down after the 2005 season due to a lack of a suitable venue and the team was moved to Houston as the Dynamo. A new owner was granted an MLS expansion team called the San Jose Earthquakes for the 2008 season and was given a three-year option to get a new soccer stadium built for the team.
United Soccer Leagues - W-PRO: The United Soccer Leagues, which has been operating its women's pro-am W-League since 1995, has announced plans to create a new fully professional women's soccer league in the United States and Canada called W-PRO to fill in the gap left by the departure of Women's Professional Soccer. The new W-PRO league plans to start play in 2013.
United Soccer Leagues - Major Indoor Soccer League: Although the USL's MISL has not made an official announcement, a new team called the Chicago Kick has apparently worked out an agreement to play at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates (IL) for the 2012-13 season. A team by the same name had tried and failed to play in the league's 2011-12 season.
North American Soccer League: The eight-team Division II NASL is trying to expand and wants to add a St. Louis-based team by the 2014 season. A team called AC St. Louis was a member of the NASL for the 2010 season. The league plans to add a team in Ottawa (Ontario) in 2014 and has targeted other cities like Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, and San Diego.
USA Rugby League: The USARL started its second season earlier this month and again has eight teams. The new Baltimore Blues team replaced the New Jersey Turnpike Titans in 2012. Other teams include the Boston Thirteens, Jacksonville Axemen, New Haven (CT) Warriors, Oneida FC (Boston), Philadelphia Fight., Rhode Island Rebellion (Providence), and Washington DC Slayers. The eight-week season runs through the month of July.
American National Rugby League: The six-team Atlantic Conference and the three-team Midwest Conference of the AMNRL have started their respective 2012 seasons. The new Northern Virginia Eagles of Fairfax (VA) replaced last season's Delaware Vipers in the Atlantic Conference, while the Midwest Conference starts its inaugural schedule of play with the Chicago Stockyarders, Iowa City Crash, and Western Storm (Elgin, IL). The AMNRL returns with a five-team Pacific Conference based in Hawaii, but those teams have yet to start play.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
North American Soccer League Stories from June 18, 2012
- Strikers Stewart Named Defensive Player of the Week - Fort Lauderdale Strikers
- Rowdies Yoshitake Named NASL Offensive Player of the Week - Tampa Bay Rowdies
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
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