by Dan Krieger
October 5, 2016 - Atlantic League (AtL)
Carolina League: Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers finalized the purchase of a high Class-A Carolina League team to be based in Kinston (NC) starting with the 2017 season. The Kinston team is one of two new Carolina League teams to be added after Minor League Baseball shut down two high Class-A teams in the California League. The second new Carolina League team will be based in Fayetteville (NC).
Atlantic League: The ownership of the Lancaster (PA) Barnstormers team in the independent Atlantic League has been suffering financially while operating the team and has asked Lancaster County to help pay its stadium rent. The county does not appear to be interested in a plan proposed by the Barnstormers and stated there is no funding available in this year's budget.
Desert League of Professional Baseball: The new fall-season Desert League started its inaugural 2016 season last weekend with four teams called the Imperial County Ghostriders (Holtville and Calexico, CA) Somerton (AZ) Caneros, Yuma (AZ) Hammers and Yuma Maple Leafs. The league's short season runs through October with teams each playing about 25 games.
Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League: After three seasons in the Michigan Summer Collegiate Baseball League, the Muskegon Clippers are moving to the more-established Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. The GLSCL is one of the summer leagues under the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball that are each partially funded by Major League Baseball.
Western Major Baseball League: The ownership of the Swift Current (Saskatchewan) Indians in Canada's summer-collegiate WMBL announced plans to rename the team prior to the 2017 season. BASKETBALL
National Basketball League of Canada: The St. John (New Brunswick) Mill Rats team in the NBL-Canada has come under new ownership, which announced the team will give fans the opportunity to rename the team. The Mill Rats have been part of the NBL-Canada since the league's inaugural 2011-12 season. The team started as the Manchester (NH) Millrats and played one season (2007-08) in the American Basketball Association and two seasons (2008-10) in the Premier Basketball League before becoming the St. John Mill Rats in the 2010-11 season of the PBL.
Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional: Mexico's top professional basketball league known as the LNBP recently announced its 2016-17 season will start next month with ten teams. Four teams called the Halcones Rojos de Veracruz, Gigantes del Estado de Mexico (Mexico City), Jefes de Fuerza Lagunera de Torreon and Pioneros de Quintana Roo will not return from last season, but three other teams have been added. Teams called the Toros de Nuevo Laredo and Barreteros de Zacatecas are returning to the league, as the Toros last played in the 2013-14 season and the Barreteors in the 2014-15 season. A new team called the Garzas de Plata de la UAEH, based in Pachuca, Hildago, has also joined the LNBP. The league had a previous team by that name in the 2004 season, but it moved to Veracruz after one season. A proposed 11th team for 2016-17 called the Capitanes de la CDMX (Mexico City) will sit out this season.
National Basketball Association Development League (D-League): The NBA's Washington Wizards unveiled plans for a new 5,000-seat arena in Washington (DC) that will serve as its practice facility, as well as home to the Washington Mystics of the Women's National Basketball Association and most likely a proposed future D-League team. The arena is planned to open in the fall of 2018.
Independent Basketball Association: The IBA has started its 2016 winter season with six participating teams: the Grand Rapids (MI) Fusion, Illinois Hoopville Warriors (Belleville), Kenosha (WI) Ballers, Lansing (MI) Capitals, St. Louis Trotters and the new Milwaukee Falcons. The IBA has been around since its first winter season in 2011 and plays both a winter and spring season. FOOTBALL
Champions Indoor Football: The CIF announced an expansion team has been awarded to Bismarck (ND) for the 2017 season. The city had a team called the Bismarck Blaze in the 2000 season of a former league called the Indoor Football League and a team called the Bismarck Roughriders for two seasons (2002-03) in the former National Indoor Football League. A proposed 2001 team called the Bismarck Bandits was planned for the arenafootball2, but a Mountain Division of teams never developed. The league also announced the Muskegon-based West Michigan Ironmen team has joined the CIF after playing the 2016 season as part of the now-defunct American Indoor Football.
Can-Am Indoor Football League: The proposed new CAIFL has added some new team names to its lineup of teams for the inaugural 2017 season. These names include the Buffalo Blitz, Lockport (NY) Lightning, Rochester (NY) Kings and Steel City Patriots.