Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
August 6, 2012 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Pacific Coast League: The Triple-A PCL has approved the sale of one of its teams to MountainStar Sports Group, which plans to bring the PCL team to the city of El Paso where a new stadium will be built. The relocated PCL team is expected to be the Tucson Padres whose owner was unable to move the team to a proposed new stadium in Escondido (CA) near San Diego. The new El Paso stadium could be ready in time for the 2014 season. El Paso last had an affiliated team called the El Paso Diablos in the 2004 season of the Double-A Texas League, but that team moved to Springfield (MO). An independent baseball team by the same name started play in 2005 and is currently a member of the American Association.
Northwest League: The attempt by the city of Milwaukie (OR) in the Portland area to bring a short-season Class-A Northwest League team to a proposed new ballpark has failed. The league recently approved the relocation of its Yakima (WA) Bears franchise to a new ballpark to be built in Hillsboro (OR), which is also in the Portland area, so discussions for a possible team in Milwaukie broke off. The summer-collegiate West Coast League has expressed interest in placing a team in Milwaukie, if its new ballpark plans move forward and an ownership group is interested.
American West Baseball League: The proposed new AWBL plans to start play in 2013 and recently announced the Long Beach Splash as one of its teams. The new team was expected to play at Blair Field on the campus of Long Beach State, which had been home to previous independent baseball teams, but the university appears uninterested in becoming home to another independent pro team. Long Beach teams called the Barracuda (1995), Riptide (1995-96), and Breakers (2001-02) were members of the defunct Western Baseball League, while the Long Beach Armada (2005-09) was part of the defunct Golden Baseball League. The AWBL is planning other teams for Mesa (AZ), Orange County Flyers (Fullerton), San Diego, and Yuma (AZ).
National Basketball League of Canada: The NBL-Canada has officially announced its eighth team for the upcoming 2012-13 season will be called the Windsor (Ontario) Express. The league also announced its schedule and alignment for its second season. Each team will play a 40-game schedule from early November 2012 to mid-March 2013. The league will be aligned into a four-team Atlantic Division with the Halifax (Nova Scotia) Rainmen, Moncton (New Brunswick) Miracles, Saint John (New Brunswick) Mill Rats, and Summerside (PEI) Storm, and a Central Division with the Laval (Quebec), London (Ontario) Lightning, Oshawa (Ontario) Power, and Windsor (Ontario) Express.
American Basketball Association: The ABA has announced the addition of a new team called Las Estrellas de Chicago, or the Chicago Stars, that is listed as a 2013-14 expansion team. The ABA's Cleveland Hotcards travel team from last season is now listed as the Cleveland Am Pro'ers. The Little Rock Lightning team, which was part of the South Central division last season, is now listed as an ABA travel team.
Women's American Basketball Association: The owner of the new Grand Rapids Cyclones team in the men's American Basketball Association is trying to start a new WABA team called the Grand Rapids Lady Stars. The WABA played a couple of exhibition games in 2012 between the Chicago Lady Steam and Indy's Finest (Indianapolis). The league is reportedly trying to start its first full season in late September or early October 2012.
United Football League: The UFL has officially announced it will return for a 2012 season that will have four teams each playing an eight-game schedule from September 21 to November 9. The 2012 UFL will have the same four teams from last season. These include the Las Vegas Locomotives, Omaha Nighthawks, Sacramento Mountain Lions, and Virginia Destroyers. The UFL is entering its third season.
Continental Indoor Football League: The CIFL announced the Cincinnati Commandos team, which was part of the 2012 United Indoor Football League, will return to the CIFL for the 2013 season. The Commandos were previously a member of the CIFL for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. The league's 2012 expansion team called the Port Huron Patriots announced it will return for the 2013 season.
Champions Professional Indoor Football League: The CPIFL is the name of the new indoor football league being started by the Sioux City (IA) Bandits team, which was part of the semi-pro indoor American Professional Football League for the past two seasons. The new CPIFL is based in the Midwest and plans to have five to six teams from Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas. Some of those teams could be other APFL teams that switch to the CPIFL. A league meeting is scheduled for next week. Prior to its play in the APFL, the Bandits played two seasons (2009-10) in the Indoor Football League, four seasons (2005-08) in United Indoor Football, four seasons (2001-04) in the National Indoor Football League, and one season (2000) as the Sioux City Attack in the original Indoor Football League.
Central Hockey League: The franchise rights of the CHL's dormant Laredo Bucks have been transferred to St. Charles (MO) in suburban St. Louis where the team will be called the St. Charles Chill when it starts play in the 2013-14 season. The Laredo Bucks joined the CHL as an expansion tem for the 2002-03 season, but its ownership had announced plans to sit out the 2012-13 season. The Family Arena in St. Charles had been home to the Missouri River Otters hockey team that played seven seasons (1999-2006) in the defunct United Hockey League.
National Hockey League: The developer of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn (NY) is trying to lure the NHL's New York Islanders franchise to the arena. The Islanders have had trouble working out a deal for a new or renovated arena in Nassau County. Their lease expires after the 2014-15 season and the team's owner does not want to play at the Nassau County arena after that point. The Islanders and the New Jersey Devils will be playing an exhibition game at the Barclays Center in late September 2012.
Federal Hockey League: The FHL's new Williamsport (PA) Outlaws team, which played as the New Jersey Outlaws in Wayne (NJ) for the 2011-12 season, has come to an agreement with the Williamsport Crosscutters baseball team of the short-season Class-A New York-Penn League to build a temporary outdoor hockey surface on the Crosscutters' baseball field for the upcoming 2012-13 season home season. The Outlaws also announced an affiliation agreement with the ECHL's Elmira (NY) Jackals.
Superior International Junior Hockey League: The Wisconsin Wilderness (Spooner) of the Canadian Junior-A SIJHL has moved to Cloquet (MN) and has been renamed the Minnesota Wilderness for 2012-13.
Major League Soccer: The city of Las Vegas is hosting an international soccer game between Real Madrid (Spain) and Santos Laguna (Mexico) and it is hoped the event brings attention to Las Vegas as a possible MLS expansion city. The MLS currently has 19 teams and plans to expand into New York City for its 20th team. After adding a 20th team, any other expansion teams would need solid ownership and a suitable soccer venue. A developer has included a proposed MLS-style soccer stadium as part of his plans to build a minor league ballpark and basketball arena in nearby Henderson (NV).
North American Soccer League: The owner of the Ottawa Fury soccer club, which operates both men's and women's team in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League and W-League, respectively, plans on moving the men's Ottawa Fury team up a couple of levels to the NASL for the 2014 season. Renovations to the city's football stadium are underway and the stadium will become home to a new Ottawa Canadian Football League franchise and the Ottawa NASL team.
Professional Lacrosse League: The new PLL announced its inaugural 2012 season will run from September 14 to November 30 with each of the four teams playing a 12-game schedule. The league held a dispersal draft for its Hershey Haymakers and Pennsylvania Shamrocks (originally the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Shamrocks) teams, which were recently replaced by the addition of two new teams called the New Jersey Rascals (Trenton) and the Reading (PA) Rockets.
Midwest Indoor Lacrosse Association: The semi-pro MILA has started its 2012 season that will run from early August to late September. After playing its inaugural 2011 season with four teams, the MILA increased to 11 teams aligned into three divisions. The five-team Mid-States Division includes the returning Columbus (OH) Lacrosse Club and four new teams called the Cleveland Demons, Detroit Coney Dogs, Pittsburgh Octane, and Southern Ohio Box Lacrosse (Cincinnati). The five-team Central Division has the returning Chicago Outlaws, Grand Rapids Dragonfish, and Milwaukee Marauders, along with the new Madison (WI) Capitals and Minnesota JAXX. The new Colorado Sabertooths team is the lone member of the league's Western Division.
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 August 6, 2012
- Green Stays Hot, But River Cats Fall to Sounds, 5-3 - Sacramento River Cats
- Sounds Even Series with River Cats with 5-3 Win - Nashville Sounds
- Zephyrs Hammer Four Home Runs in Win - New Orleans Zephyrs
- Chasers Outlasted by the Sky Sox, 10-7 - Omaha Storm Chasers
- Calhoun's Walk-Off Sends Salt Lake to Victory - Oklahoma City RedHawks
- Deuces Wild for Reno in Game Two - Iowa Cubs
- Eaton Powers Aces Past Cubs, 2-1 - Reno Aces
- Round Rock Express Fall to Las Vegas 4-1 - Round Rock Express
- Campana Optioned to Iowa - Iowa Cubs
- RedHawks Game Notes: August 6, 2012 - Oklahoma City RedHawks
- Round Rock Express - Game Notes vs. Las Vegas 51s - Round Rock Express
- Miller Earns PCL Pitcher of the Week Honors - Memphis Redbirds
- Tony Abreu Selected as PCL Player of the Week - Omaha Storm Chasers
- Abreu, Miller Named Players Of The Week - PCL
- Storm Chasers to Become Omahogs on What If" Night - Omaha Storm Chasers
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
- 'Topes Comeback Comes up Short in 10-8 Loss to Padres - Albuquerque Isotopes
- Padres Use Big Fourth to down Albuquerque - Tucson Padres
- River Cats Overpower Sounds in Series Opener, 8-3 - Nashville Sounds
- Peterson Propels River Cats Past Sounds, 8-3 - Sacramento River Cats
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.