Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
July 9, 2012 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Pacific Coast League: The Tucson Padres of the Triple-A PCL have signed a one-year lease to return to Tucson for the 2013 season. The team's owner originally planned to move the team to a proposed new ballpark in Escondido (CA), but those plans have fallen through. An ownership group in El Paso (TX) is now trying to purchase a PCL club, reportedly the Tucson Padres, and move it to a proposed new ballpark in El Paso that could be ready for the 2014 season.
Northwest League: The city of Milwaukie (OR) in the Portland area is still moving forward towards construction of a new ballpark for a short-season Class-A Northwest League team and expects to have deal in place by the end of the month. Nearby Hillsboro (OR) recently worked out plans for a ballpark that will become home to the Northwest League's Yakima (WA) Bears franchise.
Liga Norte de Sonora: After operating with eight teams in 2011, Mexico's minor pro Northern Sonora League is playing its 2012 season with only four baseball teams-Internacionales de Nogales, Los Rieleros de Empalme, Los Rojos de Caborca, and Vaqueros de Aqua Prieta. The 2012 season runs from late May to early August.
Liga Norte de Mexico: The Northern Mexico League, a minor pro baseball league, recently completed its 2012 regular season that ran from late March through June. The LNM operated with six teams called the Algononeros de San Luis, Aguiluchos de Mexicali, Cerveceros de Tecate, Marineros de Ensenada, Tiburones de Puerto Penasco, and Truenos de Tijuana.
American West Baseball League: The Long Beach (CA) team in the proposed new AWBL will be called the Long Beach Splash when the league starts play in 2013. The league has announced other proposed teams in San Diego, Mesa (AZ), Yuma (AZ), and Fullerton (CA).
Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League: The inaugural ACPBL summer season has started play with seven teams currently listed in the standings. Teams include the NYC 524 and Manhattan Pride from the ACPBL, the NYC Jaguars from the Eastern Basketball Alliance, and other teams called the ACPBL Metro, NY 320 All Stars, and the Chinatown Dynasty.
Americas Basketball International: The Birmingham-based ABI is still trying to get its league play off the ground and now reports it will be ready to start its 40-game schedule in December 2012. The league plans to have 15 international teams and 3 to 4 league-sponsored teams from the United States.
National Basketball League of Canada: The Quebec Kebs team in the NBL-Canada has officially announced plans to move from Quebec City to Laval for the 2012-13 season. It is uncertain if the team will keeps its name or possible be renamed the Laval Kebs.
Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional: Mexico's top pro basketball league called the LNBP has announced it will have 16 teams participating in its 2012-13 season that will run from September 4, 2012 to January 12, 2013. Some of the new teams for 2012-13 include Gigantes Estado de Mexico, Gansos Salvajes de La UIC (Universidad Intercontinental), Guerreros de Guerrero Cumple (Chilpancingo), and Osos de Guadalajara.
American Basketball Association: A new ABA team called the Grand Rapids (MI) Cyclones will be part of a three-team tryout next month with the league's Chicago Fury and Jacksonville Giants. The ABA had a team called the Grand Rapids Flight that was part of the ABA in the 2009-10 season.
Women's United States Basketball Association: The proposed WUSBA, which plans to start play in the fall of 2015 with 30 teams across the United States, plans to take three teams to Europe in September 2012 and play a series of games against international professional teams. The league plans on this being an annual event.
The Women's Basketball League: The new TWBL plans to start play in April 2013 with at least five teams located in the East and Midwest. The league plans to prepare players for the Women's National Basketball Association and international leagues.
Canadian Football League: The CFL started its 2012 season in the last week of June and again has the same eight teams with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Montreal Alouettes, Toronto Argonauts, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the East Division and the British Columbia Lions (Vancouver), Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Eskimos, and Saskatchewan Roughriders (Regina) in the West Division. The previously announced new Ottawa (Ontario) franchise will most likely not start play until the 2014 season and will be added to the East Division. At that time, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be moved to the West Division, as the league continues to look for a fifth East Division team. The markets of Moncton (New Brunswick), Halifax (Nova Scotia) , and Quebec City have been mentioned as possibilities for expansion.
Indoor Football League: The owner of the Bloomington (IL) Edge has put the IFL franchise up for sale along with the Bloomington-based Central Illinois Drive franchise in the Premier Basketball League. The league's Bloomington Extreme franchise was purchased prior to the 2012 season and renamed the Edge. The owner has not been satisfied with support from the community and will fold both teams if new owners are not found.
United States Football League: The new USFL started a nationwide tour last week in Akron (OH) as the proposed springtime pro football league meets with local officials and prospective owners in preparation for its inaugural season. The league plans to start play with eight teams in March 2013. Other tour cities include Austin/San Antonio, Portland (OR), and Salt Lake City with additional cities still to be announced.
Southern Professional Hockey League: As the result of a month-long fan survey about possibly renaming the team, the Biloxi-based Mississippi Surge of the SPHL has decided not to change its nickname. The owner had been unsuccessful in obtaining rights to the name of the city's former ECHL team called the Mississippi Sea Wolves and sought new nickname suggestions from the fans.
North American Hockey League: With the recent loss of professional Central Hockey League teams in Laredo and Rio Grande Valley (Hidalgo, TX), there has been speculation the Tier II junior-level NAHL will place teams in those markets, although that move might not happen until the 2013-14 season.
Major League Soccer: The MLS has been in discussions with Queens (NY) about building a new soccer stadium for a proposed MLS expansion franchise. The league plans to pay for the new stadium, which would be used to attract an expansion team that the MLS has been trying to establish in New York City.
United Soccer Leagues - PRO: The Division III USL PRO league has announced the addition of a team in Phoenix (AZ) for the 2013 season. The USL PRO currently has only one western-based team called the Los Angeles Blues. The Division II North American Soccer League has also targeted some western markets like Phoenix, Albuquerque, San Diego, Las Vegas, Sacramento, and the Los Angeles area for possible expansion in 2014 or 2015. A men's amateur-level team called the Phoenix Monsoon started play in the 2012 National Premier Soccer League. A couple of years ago, the Monsoon was part of an effort to develop a Western Conference of teams to play at the Division II level or Division III level.
Women's Indoor Soccer League: The Texas-based WISL recently completed its fifth indoor season that was played in April and May 2012. Teams for the short 2012 season included the Austin Gunners, FC Austin, NTX Image (Duncanville), and the Rockwall Phoenix.
Professional Lacrosse League: The new indoor PLL, which plans to play its inaugural season from September to December 2012, has announced plans to add a new expansion franchise in the Northeast United States. Details on the new team will be announced next week. The PLL previously announced four other teams that will be part of the 2012 season.
North American Lacrosse League: The indoor NALL and the outdoor Major League Lacrosse have agreed to cooperate in developing their schedules, so players can participate in both leagues. The NALL plans to play its second season from January to early April 2013. The MLL plays a spring-summer season that started in late April this year.
Dan Krieger is the creator of the "The Leagueology Almanac 2011-12", which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The publication is currently available at www.amazon.com.
Pacific Coast League Stories from July 9, 2012
- Sky Sox Outfielder Andrew Brown Named Hitter of the Week for the Second Time - Colorado Springs Sky Sox
- Wily Peralta Named PCL Pitcher of the Week - Nashville Sounds
- Brown And Peralta Win Weekly Awards - PCL
- Rob Crain to Take President/GM Role with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre - Omaha Storm Chasers
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
- Storm Chasers Home for Eight Games from July 12 - July 19 - Omaha Storm Chasers
- Aces Transform for What Could Have Been Weekend - Reno Aces
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.