by Dan Krieger
September 7, 2016 - California League (CalL)
Texas League: The head of the Double-A Texas League stated that if Wichita (KS) wants to return to the league with the possible future relocation of the San Antonio Missions, the city will need a new stadium and not a renovation of its current older stadium. The Texas League's Wichita Wranglers moved out of the city after the 2007 season. The San Antonio relocation is contingent on a new Triple-A stadium being built in San Antonio. Besides Wichita, the Texas League has looked at Shreveport (LA) and the Texas locations of Amarillo, Lubbock, Waco and the Rio Grande Valley as other options for a relocated Missions team.
California League: The high Class-A California League recently announced its 2017 schedule that will feature only eight teams with the recent contraction of the Bakersfield Blaze and High Desert Mavericks (Adelanto, CA). No teams will change divisions for 2017 as Bakersfield will be removed from the North Division and High Desert from the South Division leaving two four-team divisions. The Bakersfield and High Desert teams will be replaced by two other teams in the high Class-A Carolina League for the 2017 season and that league will grow to ten teams. The 30-team high Class-A designation also features the 12-team Florida State League.
New York-Penn League: The future is uncertain for the Batavia (NY) Muckdogs of the short-season Class-A NYPL. The team has been for sale since 2010 and it suffers from the lowest attendance of the 14 teams in the league. A proposed sale and relocation to Waldorf (MD) fell through prior to the 2016 season due to territorial issues. The Muckdogs have been operated by the Rochester Red Wings of the Triple-A International League since the 2008 season. The Red Wings will earn 5 percent of the sale price for every year they have operated the team up to a maximum of 50 percent.
Western Major Baseball League: The Swift Current Indians (Saskatchewan) of Canada's summer-collegiate WMBL announced the team will undergo a nickname change prior to next season. The team will involve the community in selecting the new team name that will be announced in November.
National Basketball League of Canada: The NBL-Canada announced the ownership of the Cape Breton Highlanders expansion team, based in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and stated the team will start play in the 2016-17 season. Cape Breton has been added to the Atlantic Division to create a five-team division. The league has grown to ten teams for the 2016-17 season with the addition of the new KW Titans of Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario) to create a five-team Central Division. The Cape Breton Highlanders are expected to become a natural rival to Nova Scotia's other NBL-Canada team called the Halifax Hurricanes. The league's season will start in late December 2016.
National Basketball Association Development League (D-League): An individual in Athens (GA) is proposing construction of a new arena that could become home to an NBA D-League team, possibly affiliated with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.
East Coast Basketball League: The ECBL announced another new team called the Carolina Thunder, based in Dillon (SC), has been added for its third season in 2017. The league previously announced three other teams called the Florence (SC) Wildcats, Charlotte Golden Bulls and Lumberton (NC) Showstoppers would be added for 2017.
American Basketball Association: The ABA has added another team called the Atlantic Coast Cardinals (Orange County, NY) for the 2016-17 season. The team will be added to the Northeast Division.