Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
September 17, 2012 - NBA Development League (D-League)
Pecos League: The six-team independent Pecos League wants to add two teams for 2013 and align into a four-team Northern Division and a four-team Southern Division. A proposed Pecos (TX) Bills team could be part of a Southern Division and the league was trying to place a team called the West Pueblo (CO) Westerners in a Northern Division. Pueblo voted down the league's attempt to set up at its Runyon Park, so the league will be looking for other locations in southern Colorado or northern New Mexico.
National Baseball League: The proposed new NBL, which was originally known as the Southeast Baseball League and Nationwide Baseball League, plans to start play in April 2014 with 16 teams in 4 divisions playing a 72-game season. The league plans to have "clusters" of teams for each of its divisions and has targeted Western Texas for its first division.
World Independent Baseball League: The owner of the Maui Na Koa Ikaika and Hawaii Stars teams in the North American Baseball League is working toward creation of the WIBL for the 2013 season with Japan's independent Baseball Challenge League (BCL). The Na Koa Ikaika recently traveled to Japan to play exhibition games against the BCL's Ishikawa Million Stars and to further discuss the WIBL.
America West Baseball League: The proposed new AWBL is moving forward with plans to start play in the spring of 2013 and currently has five potential teams or markets listed. These include the Fullerton (CA) Flyers, Long Beach (CA) Splash, Mesa (AZ), North County Cannons (San Diego), and Yuma (AZ) Panthers. All of these markets had previous teams at one time or another in the former Golden Baseball League, which operated from 2005 through the 2010 season. These included the Fullerton/Orange County Flyers (2005-10), Long Beach Armada (2005-09), Mesa Miners (2005), San Diego Surf Dawgs (2005-06), and the Yuma Scorpions (2005-10). The new AWBL also lists proposed fall and winter leagues that could be part of its operations.
National Basketball Association Development League: The city of Santa Cruz (CA) has approved a permit to allow the NBA's Golden State Warriors to build a temporary 3,000-seat pavilion for its NBA D-League affiliate called the Santa Cruz Warriors. The NBA has yet to officially announce the move of the Dakota Wizards (Bismarck, ND) to Santa Cruz for the 2012-13 season.
National Basketball Association: The city of Seattle approved an agreement to move forward with planning for a new arena that could see the return of an NBA franchise. This team would most likely be called the Seattle SuperSonics or Sonics after the city's former NBA team by the same name that moved to become the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 2008-09 season. The arena could also become home to a franchise in the National Hockey League.
American Professional Basketball League: The Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League (ACPBL) has ceased operations and has morphed into the new APBL. The new league will open its inaugural 2012-13 season in late October with at least four teams in action. These teams include the Manhattan Pride and NYC 524 from the 2011-12 ACPBL, the NYC Jaguars from the 2011-12 Eastern Basketball Alliance, and the new Rockville (MD) Victors. The former ACPBL played two fall-winter seasons (2010-12) and recently completed a short, five-week summer schedule in 2012.
Tobacco Road Basketball League: The TRBL is considering an application from a sports promotion and management company in Asheville (NC) for a possible 2013 expansion team. The proposed team has selected the Asheville Freaks and Asheville Greyhounds for a name-the-team contest.
Central Basketball League: The proposed new CBL has announced its second franchise for its April 2013 start will be based in St. Louis. The Springfield-based Middle Tennessee Storm was announced earlier this month as the league's first team.
Indoor Football League: After playing its first season as part of the IFL, the New Mexico Stars have announced the team will move to the Lone Star Football League for 2013. The Stars still need to renegotiate their lease at the team's home arena in the Rio Ranch area of Albuquerque. The LSFL started its inaugural 2012 season with seven teams all based in Texas.
Professional Indoor Football League: The Charlotte Speed, which was originally announced as a 2013 expansion team for the Indoor Football League (IFL), officially announced the team has switched to the PIFL for the 2013 season. The PIFL played its inaugural season in 2012 with six teams, but will grow to eight teams with the addition of Charlotte and the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks team, which was member of the IFL in 2012.
Ultimate Indoor Football League: The UIFL recently completed its annual meeting and announced it will have between six to eight teams for its 2013 season. A proposed new team called the Indianapolis Panthers was removed for failing to meet league obligations. The league also approved the relocation of its Western Pennsylvania Sting team, which was a 2012 travel team based out of Johnstown (PA), to a location to be announced soon. There has been speculation the team will be re-established in the Miami area.
Champions Professional Indoor Football League: The Council Bluffs (IA) Express, which played as part of the indoor American Professional Football League (APFL) in 2012, has relocated to Lincoln (NE) where the team will become a member of the new CPIFL for its inaugural 2013 season. The team has been referred to as the Lincoln Haymakers, although there could still be a name-the-team contest. The team also considered Salina (KS) as its new home. The Council Bluffs Express evolved from a recreational indoor football team and joined the APFL as the Iowa Blackhawks for the 2004 season. The team was sold and renamed the Council Bluffs Express for the 2012 season. The city of Lincoln had an indoor team called the Lincoln Lightning for two seasons (1999-2000) in the original Indoor Football League before it moved to the arenafootball2, but it lasted only one season (2001). A new team called the Lincoln Capitols was formed and played four seasons (2002-05) as part of the defunct National Indoor Football League. That team played two road games in the 2006 season as the Lincoln Capitols before relocating to St. Joseph (MO) and eventually becoming the St. Joseph Cyclones for the remainder of the season. Lincoln also had various APFL road teams called the Nebraska Chillers, Extreme, and Tornadoes over the past several years.
Stars Football League: The outdoor summertime SFL, which recently completed its second season with only three Florida-based teams, has announced the five southern teams that will be part of its next season set to start in April 2013. The teams include the Daytona Razors, Fort Lauderdale Barracudas, Fort Myers Swamp Dogs, Fort Pierce Orange, and Miami Ironmen. HOCKEY
Tropical Elite Hockey League: The new TEHL junior hockey league has apparently lost sanctioning from the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and its future is uncertain. The league had eight proposed Florida-based teams for the 2012-13 season. These included the Daytona Beach Blaze, Kissimmee Vipers, St. Cloud Thunder, Tampa Bay Tide, Pompano Beach Prowlers, Florida Coyotes (Palm Beach), and Miami Sea Devils. North American Hockey League: The NAHL, the only Tier-II junior hockey league in the United States, has started its 2012-13 season with 24 teams aligned into a six-team Central Division, an eight-team North Division, a six-team South Division, and a four-team West Division. The league lost four teams from last season as the Dawson Creek Rage and Chicago Hitmen dropped out, while the New Mexico Mustangs and St. Louis Bandits went dormant. The league also saw three teams relocate for the 2012-13 season. The Alaska Avalanche moved from Palmer to become the Johnstown (PA) Tomahawks, the Alexandria (MN) Blizzard moved to become the Brookings (SD) Blizzard, and the Traverse City (MI) North Stars moved to Sault Ste-Marie (MI) to become the Soo Eagles.
North American Soccer League: The Atlanta Silverbacks team of the Division II NASL has announced a name-the-team contest for fans to vote whether to keep the Silverbacks name, rename the team the Atlanta Chiefs after the city's first professional soccer team, or select a totally different name. The Silverbacks played at the Division II level from 1998-2008, sat out 2009 and 2010, and started play as part of the NASL in 2011. The former Atlanta Chiefs started play in the 1967 National Professional Soccer League, which merged with the United Soccer Association to form the original professional NASL in 1968. The Chiefs played through the 1972 season before becoming the Atlanta Apollos for one more season in 1973. Another Atlanta Chiefs team joined the NASL in 1979 when the Caribous of Colorado moved to Atlanta. This version of the Chiefs played three outdoor seasons (1979-80) and two winter indoor seasons (1979-81) in the NASL before folding.
Professional Arena Soccer League: The PASL announced its Revolucion Tijuana team has been sold and the new ownership has renamed the team the Toros Mexico. The Revolucion Tijuana became part of the PASL with some exhibition games in the 2009-10 season and played full schedule as part of the PASL for the past two seasons.
Midwest Indoor Lacrosse Association: The semi-pro MILA is well into its second season with ten participating teams. A proposed new team called the Madison (WI) Capitals has disappeared and the league is aligned into a six-team Mid-States Division and a four-team Central/Western Division. A Buffalo-based team called the Upstate Bears plans to be part of the MILA in 2013 and will join the new Indianapolis Swagger expansion team.
Prospect Lacrosse League: The new PLL has been announced as the first professionally operated summer-collegiate lacrosse league in the United States. The league plans to start with four league-operated teams in the Chicago area for 2013 with expansion and outside ownership coming in 2014. The PLL will allow college lacrosse players with remaining NCAA eligibility a place to compete in the off-season.
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.
NBA Development League Stories from September 17, 2012
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
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.