April 18, 2014
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Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report

by Dan Krieger
July 8, 2013 - World TeamTennis (WTT)

BASEBALL

Pacific Association: The independent Pacific Association has cancelled a trip by the Vallejo (CA) Admirals team to play the league's two teams in Hawaii due to the Admirals' financial issues. The East Bay (CA) Lumberjacks team, which has been playing a limited number of games against Pacific Association teams in 2013, will replace the Admirals in Hawaii and will become an official league member. The Lumberjacks will continue to play as a league travel team in 2013 and will be part of the league standings. The Lumberjacks hope to have a home ballpark in 2014. The Admirals will add some home games instead of playing in Hawaii. The Santa Rosa (CA) Rose Buds team, which has also been playing a limited schedule of games against Pacific Association teams, is expected to play some of these newly scheduled games in Vallejo.

Can-Am League: The head of the five-team Can-Am League stated the league is considering expansion and is interested in markets like Atlantic City (NJ), Worcester (MA), Sussex County (NJ), Montreal and Ottawa. The first three of these markets have also been targeted by the new developmental Diamond League, while the Montreal market does not have a suitable ballpark. The Ottawa market is being considered by a group associated with the Double-A Eastern League, but the Can-Am League would be ready to return to that market if an Eastern League deal does not work out. A team called the Ottawa Rapidz was part of the 2008 Can-Am League. That team failed and another attempt for an Ottawa team first called the Rapids and then the Voyageurs never got off the ground in 2009.

Pecos League: The Taos (NM) Blizzard of the independent Pecos League was being operated by the developmental New York State League (NYSL) during the 2013 season while its main field in the New York City area was undergoing renovations. The NYSL announced this past week that after playing 50 games in the season it is withdrawing from the Pecos League due to the way it is run and that the remainder of the Blizzard's season has been cancelled.

BASKETBALL

Premier Basketball League: The PBL is asking fans whether it should play its next season in the winter or spring. The PBL played its first five seasons (2008-12) with a winter schedule generally running from January to early April. This past season, the PBL partnered with the Independent Basketball Association for that league's 2013 spring season and PBL teams played a regular-season schedule from early March through May. The IBA-PBA merger fell apart near the end of the 2013 spring season.

American Basketball Association: A previously announced new ABA team called the Texarkana (AR) Bulldogs has disappeared, but the league now lists a team called the Texarkana (TX) Panthers. The King City Monarchs team is now listed as an ABA member. This team was renamed after last season's Michiana Monarchs moved from South Bend (IN) to Mount Vernon (IL) for the 2013-14 season.

FOOTBALL

National Spring Football League: The proposed minor professional NSFL, which was originally planning to start in 2013, is working toward a start in 2014 with 12 teams across the United States. The league directory now has two new teams called the Oklahoma Cyclones and Ohio Pride (Columbus) listed as part of its 12 teams. Four additional teams called the Las Vegas Gold, Portland Aggression, Kentucky Thoroughbreds and an unnamed Arkansas team plan to start in 2015.

Stars Football League: The four-team spring-summer SFL has completed its third season with each team playing only three regular-season games and each team making it to the playoffs. The four Florida-based teams included the Daytona Beach Racers, Fort Lauderdale Barracudas, Miami Ironmen and Pompano Beach Swamp Dogs.

HOCKEY

National Hockey League: The Glendale (AZ) city council ratified an arena lease agreement with the group trying to purchase the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes franchise. The NHL has owned and operated the Coyotes for the past four years and the lease agreement was the final piece for the sale to be completed. The new ownership group must finalize the lease agreement and team purchase by August 5. The team is expected to be renamed the Arizona Coyotes under the new ownership.

Superior-International Junior Hockey League: Canada's Tier-II SIJHL recently announced its new team based in Ear Falls/Red Lake (Ontario) will be called the English River Miners. The league started last season with six teams, but the Duluth (MN) Clydesdales team was dropped during the season. After the 2012-13 season, the league's Minnesota Wilderness (Cloquet) left to join USA Hockey's Tier-II North American Hockey League for 2013-14. The SIJHL is expected to add a sixth team in Spooner (WI), which was home to the SIJHL's Wisconsin Wilderness prior to its move to Minnesota for the 2012-13 season.

SOCCER

Professional Arena Soccer League: The PASL's Rio Grande Valley Flash, based in Hidalgo (TX), has come under new ownership and the team has been renamed the Rio Grande Valley La Fiera FC. The La Fiera, or "wild beast", will use a lion with its team logo. The Rio Grande Valley Flash joined the PASL for the 2012-13 season when the owner moved the Monterrey Flash from Mexico's pro indoor soccer league known as the Liga Mexicana de Futbol Rapido (LMFR).

United Soccer Leagues - PRO: The Division-III USL PRO league announced it will add an expansion team in Oklahoma City for the 2014 season. The league has been trying to add more western-based teams under its western expansion initiative and recently announced a new team for Sacramento in 2014. The USL has become involved in a legal dispute with another group trying to bring a Division-II North American Soccer League expansion franchise to Oklahoma City for the 2015 season.

Women's Premier Soccer League: The WPSL has removed the Spokane (WA) Shine from the league for not traveling for certain road games. The Shine had already played seven games in the 2013 season. This was the club's third season in the WPSL after replacing a former WPSL team called the Spokane Black Widows. The league will try to return to Spokane next year with a new team under different ownership.

OTHER

World TeamTennis: The Mylan WTT has started its month-long 2013 season this weekend with eight teams. The Eastern Conference includes the Boston Lobsters, New York Sportimes, Philadelphia Freedom and Washington (DC) Kastles, while the Western Conference features the Orange County Breakers, Sacramento Capitals, Springfield (MO) Lasers and the Irving-based Texas Wild, which operated as the Kansas City (MO) Explorers 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.

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World TeamTennis Stories from July 8, 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.