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Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report

by Dan Krieger
February 18, 2013 - World TeamTennis (WTT)

BASEBALL

Atlantic Professional Baseball League2: The new owners of the ballpark in Sussex County (NJ) want to bring a baseball team back to the area that could be part of the proposed APBL2, which would act as a Northeast-based feeder league to the Atlantic Baseball League (ABL) starting in 2014. The ballpark had been home to the New Jersey Cardinals of the short-season Class-A New York-Penn League and the Sussex County SkyHawks of the Can-Am League. The ABL was reportedly considering Worcester (MA) and Atlantic City (NJ) as other potential markets for the APBL2 feeder league.

Pacific Association: The ownership of the new Vallejo (CA) Admirals in the Pacific Association, which was formed by owners of teams in last season's North American League North Division, has worked out a lease agreement for the area's local ballpark for the upcoming 2013 season.

America West Baseball League: The proposed new AWBL plans to start play this summer and is now targeting Nogales (AZ) for a possible team. The league is also still working with the city of Las Cruces (NM) for a team in 2013.

BASKETBALL

National Basketball Association: The owner of the NBA's New Orleans Hornets franchise announced last month that the team would be renamed the New Orleans Pelicans at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season. The Hornets began as a 1988-89 NBA expansion team called the Charlotte Hornets, which moved to New Orleans for the 2002-03 season. The city's previous NBA team called the New Orleans Jazz was a 1974-75 expansion team, but it moved to Salt Lake City for the 1979-80 season.

International Basketball Association-Premier Basketball League: The new 17-team IBA-PBL merged league for the 2013 spring basketball season, has posted its schedule that will run from early March to early June. The IBA lists a revised version of the standings that was posted on the PBL site earlier this month. The Lake Michigan Admirals were moved from the East to the Central division. The Splash, previously listed as the Indiana Splash, is again listed as the Gary Splash; the Diesels, previously listed as the Indianapolis Diesels, are again the Indiana Diesels; and the Ballers, previously listed as Wisconsin Ballers on the PBL site, are again listed as the Kenosha Ballers.

Central Basketball League: The proposed Midwest-based CBL plans to start play in April 2013 and has announced the Peoria-based River City Panthers as its fifth team. The league previously announced teams called the Chicago Stars, Cincinnati Crusade, Middle Tennessee Storm (Nashville area) and the St. Louis Hawks. A sixth team called the Kentucky Bluegrass Stallions is listed, but has not yet been officially announced by the league.

FOOTBALL

United States Football League: The proposed new spring-season USFL, which plans to start play with eight teams in 2014, has partnered with a real estate development company to build multiple commercial developments throughout the United States with each to have a mid-sized 20,000-seat stadium that would host a USFL franchise. The league and the development company have identified the first five locations in Alabama, Louisiana, Southern California and Texas. The league has also been working on a location in Ohio, as well as other cities.

Indoor Football League: The IFL has started its 2013 season with nine teams aligned into a five-team United Conference and a four-team Intense Conference. The league had 16 teams last season, but the Everett Raptors and Reading Express folded, the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks moved to the Professional Indoor Football League, the New Mexico Stars moved to the Lone Star Football League, and the Wichita Wild, Bloomington Edge and the Omaha Beef (under new ownership) moved to the new Champions Professional Indoor Football League. A proposed tenth team called the Cheyenne (WY) Warriors joined the IFL from the 2012 American Professional Football League and was added to the Intense Conference, but the team's owner passed away in December 2012 so the team decided to sit out the 2013 season. Last season's Allen Wranglers team came under new ownership and was renamed the Texas Revolution.

National Football League: The Washington Redskins of the NFL have stated the team is not considering a name change even though some feel the nickname is offensive to Native Americans.

HOCKEY

Northern Professional Hockey League: Nothing new has been heard in awhile about the proposed NPHL, which claimed to be another "AA" level professional league. The NPHL wanted to start with an Eastern Division of teams in Roanoke (VA), Huntington (WV), Winston-Salem (NC), Asheville (NC), Florence (SC) and Richmond (VA) for a proposed 2012-13 start. The NPHL reported an agreement with the Single-A level All American Hockey League (AAHL), which was trying to restart for the 2012-13 season, to serve as a feeder league to the NPHL. The AAHL appears to be dead and no cities have yet to commit to the NPHL.

SOCCER

North American Soccer League: After announcing its 2013 Spring Season schedule last month, the Division II NASL announced its schedule for the 2013 Fall Season that will add the expansion New York Cosmos team. This will be the first year of the league's split seasons that will feature a seven-team Spring Season from early April to early July and an eight-team Fall Season from early August to early November. The league's Puerto Rico Islanders team planned to sit out the Spring Season and return in the Fall Season, but that team is still restructuring its operations and will try to return in 2014. The league plans to grow to 12 teams in 2014 with other new teams to be added in Ottawa, Indianapolis and Virginia (Loudoun County).

National Women's Soccer League: The new women's professional NWSL announced the schedule for its inaugural 2013 season that will run from April 13 to August 18, 2013. The league will have eight teams aligned into one table. First-year teams will include the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City Blues, Portland (OR) Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC (Piscataway, NJ), Washington (DC) Spirit and Western New York Flash (Buffalo).

Major League Soccer: The D.C. United of the MLS will no longer pursue a move to Baltimore, but will concentrate on trying to build a new soccer-specific stadium in Washington (DC). The United has been wanting to move out of its current home at RFK Stadium for the past ten years. The United considered a move to Baltimore where a couple of studies were undertaken concerning a new stadium for the team.

United Soccer Leagues - Premier Development League: The PDL has officially announced the new Oklahoma City FC team that will be part of the 2013 season. The team will be placed in the Southern Conference Mid-South Division that has five Texas-based teams.

OTHER

World TeamTennis: The new WTT team based in Irving (TX) will be called the Texas Wild for the 2013 season. This was the league's former Kansas City Explorers franchise, which relocated to Texas.

National Pro Fastpitch: The women's NPF has announced a new team called the NY/NJ Comets, based in Bridgewater (NJ), was granted rights to the player contracts from the 2012 team known as the Carolina Diamonds, whose franchise was terminated at the conclusion of the 2012 season. The Comets will play at venues in New Jersey and New York, along with a two-game series in Pennsylvania. The league's three other teams from last season called the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits and USSSA Florida Pride (Kissimmee) will return in 2013.

NexGen League: The proposed new NexGen League, which planned to be a quasi-professional Ultimate Frisbee league for club-type teams, has decided not to move forward with a proposed 18-team league in 2013. The NexGen clubs will continue to be part of the USA Ultimate's Triple Crown Tour during the 2013 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.

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World TeamTennis Stories from February 18, 2013


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.