Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
August 13, 2012 - International League (IL)
International League: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees team, which is playing as a road team sometimes referred to as the Empire State Yankees this season in the Triple-A International League, has announced six possible nickname choices for renaming the team when it returns to its renovated home stadium in 2013. The nicknames up for fan voting are the Blast, Black Diamond Bears, Fireflies, RailRiders, Porcupines, and Trolley Frogs.
South Atlantic League (SALLY): The city council in Hagerstown (MD), which is home to the Hagerstown Suns of the low Class-A SALLY, has given approval to sell bonds for various projects that could include a minor league ballpark. The city of Winchester (VA) had been trying to come up with its own ballpark proposal to lure the Suns away from Hagerstown, but a decision would need to be made by this September if the Suns were to play in a new location by 2014.
West Coast League: Since the city of Milwaukie (OR) recently lost out in a bid to bring a short-season Class-A Northwest League to the Portland area, it will considering scaling back a proposed 4,000-seat ballpark to a 2,000-seat ballpark for a possible team in the summer-collegiate WCL.
American Basketball League: The proposed new ABL has announced it will start its 24-game regular season in January 2013 with 14 teams. The seven-team Tropical Conference has all Florida-based teams called the Emerald Coast Knights (Fort Walton), Fort Lauderdale Sharks, Fort Myers Breakers, Heartland Eagles (Avon Park), Miami Stars, Panama City Breeze, and West Palm Beach Piranhas. The Lone Star Conference currently has four teams called the Central Texas Revolution, Lone Star Law, Texas Surge (San Antonio), and Twin City United (Bryan/College Station). Panama City was originally listed as the Dream, Twin City was originally listed as the Stars, and the Revolution was originally listed as the Austin Revolution.
Central Basketball League: The proposed new CBL plans to have 8 to 10 teams starting play in 2013 with a spring-summer season (April to June). Teams will be regionally located to minimize travel costs.
Universal Basketball Association: The UBA has a new team called the LoneStar Strikers, based in Humble (TX), listed in its Texas-based Western Conference for the 2012-13 season.
Professional Indoor Football League: The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks team, which is based in Bethlehem (PA) and has been part of the Indoor Football League for the past two seasons, will switch to the PIFL for the 2013 season. The Steelhawks decided to join another league due to the IFL's weak presence in the East. The PIFL recently completed its inaugural season with six southeastern-based teams. Bethlehem had a previous team called the Lehigh Valley Outlawz that played as part of the Great Lakes Indoor Football League (2006) and the Continental Indoor Football League (2007-08).
Ultimate Indoor Football League: The United Indoor Football League, which evolved from the 2011 Ultimate Indoor Football League through an ownership change for the 2012 season, will return to being called the Ultimate Indoor Football League for the 2013 season. The renamed league recently announced a new franchise called the Sarasota Thunder will be part of the 2013 season.
American Professional Football League: A team called the Dekalb (IL) Dawgs has announced it will be part of the semi-pro indoor APFL for the 2013 season. The team is not yet listed on the APFL team list, which now has only three teams-the Cheyenne (WY) Warriors, Colorado Lightning (Aurora), and Kansas Koyotes (Topeka). The APFL started its 2012 season with eight teams, but a couple of teams folded and others are expected to move to the new Champions Professional Indoor Football League.
Lingerie Football League-Australia: The new LFL-Australia plans to start with four teams in December 2013. Two of the team names so far are the New South Wales Surge (Sydney) and Queensland Brigade (Brisbane). The LFL-Australia also announced an affiliation with a women's minor football league called the Ladies Gridiron League.
National Diamond Football League: The NDFL is another of several proposed professional spring football leagues and wants to start play in March 2014. One recent report has a team called the Shreveport Skippers as a league member, while another listed potential teams in the markets of Macon (GA), Montgomery (AL), Savannah (GA), Myrtle Beach (SC), Columbia (SC), and Greensboro (NC).
Ontario Junior Hockey League: The Markham (Ontario) Waxers of Canada's junior-A OPHL have suspended operations due to financial issues. The team will still try to return for the 2013-14 season. The OPHL will operate with 22 teams in 2012-13.
Global United Hockey: There has been no update on the proposed GUH four-on-four hockey league that planned to start play in the summer of 2012. The league had hoped to have six teams in the Northeast United States start in 2012 with a Canadian league starting in 2014 and a European league in 2016.
Women's Soccer League: A new yet-to-be-named women's professional soccer league is under development for the 2013 season with at least eight teams planned. Three of the teams will be the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, and New Jersey Sky Blue FC that were part of the last women's pro league called Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), which folded after the 2011 season. Boston and Chicago played in the Women's Premier Soccer League's Elite League in 2012, while Sky Blue FC sat out the season. A newly formed team in Seattle and another West Coast club are also expected to be part of the league. The Rochester/Buffalo-based Western New York Flash, which played in the 2011 WPS and the 2012 WPSL Elite League could also join. The founders of the new league are working to establish relationships with the United Soccer Leagues, which operates the mostly amateur women's W-League, and the WPSL, which operates the mostly amateur WPSL and the Elite League.
North American Soccer League: The NASL commissioner met this past week with representatives of an ownership group in Loudoun County (VA) about a possible NASL franchise in the area by the 2014 season. The ownership group also owns rights to the proposed Loudoun Hounds baseball team affiliated with the independent Atlantic Baseball League. The plan is for the baseball team and the NASL team to share a new minor league ballpark that is to be part of a development project in Sterling (VA).
Professional Lacrosse League: Although the new PLL's Hershey Haymakers and Pennsylvania Shamrocks teams have been replaced for the inaugural 2012 season by the Reading Rockets and New Jersey Rascals (Trenton), the Haymakers and Shamrocks are still being considered as possible expansion teams for the 2013 season.
Canadian Lacrosse League: The indoor CLAX is trying to place a team in St. Catharines (Ontario) for its second season in 2013, but wants an ownership group to come forward. After a proposed team in Montreal fell through just prior to the inaugural 2012 season, the league decided to have two teams each play out of its three remaining locations in the Ontario cities of Brampton, Ohsweken, and Oshawa. The league operated four of the six teams. The CLAX would like to have one team per venue in 2013 and wants to move its Peel Avengers and Durham TurfDogs, if new ownership can be found. Peel was based in Brampton in 2012 with the Brampton Inferno, while Durham was based in Oshawa with the Oshawa Machine in 2012.
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.
International League Stories from August 13, 2012
- Durango, Tiffee Lead Charge in 11-7 Win - Gwinnett Braves
- Back to Back Jacks Lead PawSox to Win - Pawtucket Red Sox
- Chiefs to Visit Fort Drum on Tuesday - Syracuse Chiefs
- Knights Shut out the Tides 6-0 on Monday - Charlotte Knights
- Chiefs Drop Series Finale, 6-4, to Yankees - Syracuse Chiefs
- Kevin Russo Leads Yankees to 6-4 Victory and Series Win over Syracuse - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees
- Hens Win Sixth Straight - Toledo Mud Hens
- Orioles Acquire LHP J.C. Romero from Cleveland - Norfolk Tides
- Bisons Notes - Pawtucket at Buffalo (7:05 P.M.) - Buffalo Bisons
- Rochester Red Wings Game Notes - Monday, August 13 at Lehigh Valley (Phillies) - Rochester Red Wings
- Donnie Veal Promoted to Chicago, Kloess Assigned to Birmingham - Charlotte Knights
- Coca-Cola Park to Host 2013 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game - Lehigh Valley IronPigs
- Bisons Announce "25 Seasons Celebration" for August 25 at Coca-Cola Field - Buffalo Bisons
- Rochester Red Wings Announce 2013 Schedule - Rochester Red Wings
- IronPigs Game Notes - Lehigh Valley IronPigs
- Duke Named International League Pitcher of the Week - Syracuse Chiefs
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
- Mud Hens Promote Literacy Among Hispanic Youth - Toledo Mud Hens
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