Weekly Sports League & Franchise Report

by Dan Krieger
September 26, 2016 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)

BASEBALL

Pacific Coast League: The mayor of San Antonio stated that the city is still interested in building a stadium for a possible relocated Triple-A PCL team, but the construction costs would require more private financing. San Antonio is hoping to lure the PCL\'s Colorado Springs Sky Sox to the proposed new stadium at which time the city\'s current Double-A Texas League team would relocate to an interested market like Amarillo or Wichita. The city of Amarillo recently announced a new stadium for a Texas League team would probably not be ready until 2019, if financing comes through, while Wichita is starting to debate construction of a new Double-A stadium.

Carolina League: Both the city of Fayetteville (NC) and Cumberland County have approved contributions to fund a new Fayetteville ballpark for a high Class-A Carolina League team. The city will move forward on ballpark designs and try to finalize a lease with Major League Baseball\'s Houston Astros, who plan to operate an affiliated team in Fayetteville..

Appalachian League: The Tennessee Smokies (Sevierville) of the Double-A Southern League have talked of building a new stadium in nearby Knoxville for a possible team in the advanced Rookie-level Appalachian League.

Southwest League of Professional Baseball: The group trying to bring a new SWL team to the Waco (TX) area announced it has financing in place to build a new stadium and launch the team. This team is to be one of six Texas-based teams that will be part of the league when it starts play in 2018. BASKETBALL

East Coast Basketball League: The ECBL has added another 2017 expansion team called the Carolina Kings, based in Greenville (SC).

Premier Basketball League: Late last month, the PBL announced an expansion team called the Washington Warhawks, based out of Arlington (VA), will be part of the upcoming 2017 season.

Central Basketball Association: The CBA started expansion to the East Coast this summer with the addition of the Baltimore Shuckers and recently announced the Washington (DC) Stars as another new East Coast team for 2017. The Washington Stars are the former Metropolitan All-Stars team that played three seasons (2012-15) as part of the American Professional Basketball League (APBL), which was also home to the Shuckers for the past four seasons. The CBA also announced another new team called the Illinois Coal Miners, based in Danville, will be part of the 2017 season.

American Basketball Association: The individual who was trying to form the Central Basketball League (CBL) is trying to form a team called the Dodge City (KS) Enforcers that could start play in the 2017-18 season of the ABA. There was an attempt to form a team called the Dodge City Mavericks in the CBL, but plans for that team and league were dropped earlier this year. FOOTBALL

National Football League: The NFL commissioner stated that even though efforts are moving forward on a stadium in Las Vegas for the league\'s Oakland Raiders, there are still no assurances the Raiders will move to Las Vegas and there still could be a new stadium option in Oakland.

Spring League of American Football: The proposed new professional outdoor SLAF plans to launch in 2018 as a springtime alternative to the NFL. The SLAF plans to have ten teams with each team representing one of ten geographic regions (East, Ohio Valley, Atlantic, Southeast, South, Southwest, Plains, West, Midwest and Northwest) in the United States.

Arena Developmental League: The proposed new ADL announced the addition of a new Northern Kentucky team for its inaugural season in 2017. The new team will be based in Highland Heights, which has been home to some professional indoor football league teams in the past. The Northern Kentucky River Monsters were part of the 2011 Ultimate Indoor Football League and the 2014 Continental Indoor Football League, while the Northern Kentucky Monsters were part of the 2012 United Indoor Football League. The now-defunct AIF tried to place a 2016 team called the Northern Kentucky Nightmare in Highland Heights, but it ended up being a partial-schedule travel-only team.

American Indoor Football: The New Mexico Stars indoor football team, which was based just north of Albuquerque in Rio Rancho and played the 2016 season as part of the now-defunct AIF, announced the team has ceased operations. The New Mexico Stars played its inaugural 2012 season as part of the Indoor Football League, moved to the Lone Star Football League for two seasons (2013-14) and were supposed be part of the Champions Indoor Football for the 2015 season, but dropped out and sat idle in 2015. The Stars joined the proposed new North American Indoor Football (NAIF) and announced plans to join X-League Indoor Football before moving to the AIF for the 2016 season.

Champions Indoor Football: The CIF officially announced a new Kansas City area team will be part of the 2017 season. The new Kansas City team listed Phantoms, Wicked, Express and Crush as potential team nicknames for fan voting.

Indoor Football Association: The proposed new IFA recently announced a team called the Madison (WI) Mad Dawgs has joined the league. A previously announced IFA team called the Cincinnati Flex has decided not to move forward as a member of the IFA.

Supreme Indoor League: The proposed SIF, which plans to start play in 2017, now lists the Triangle Torch (Raleigh, NC) as its fifth team. The Triangle Torch played its first season in 2016 as part of the now-defunct American Indoor Football.

HOCKEY

Canadian Hockey League: The three major-junior leagues (Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League) that comprise the CHL organization all started play this week with the same teams and alignment as last season. The OHL has 20 teams with 3 based in the United States and the rest in Ontario; the QMJHL has 18 teams located in Quebec and the Maritime Provinces; and the WHL has 22 teams with 5 based in the United States and the rest in the western provinces of Canada.

United States Hockey League: The junior-level Tier-I USHL, which is the highest level junior hockey league under USA Hockey, started its 2016-17 season this week with the same 17 teams aligned into a nine-team Eastern Conference and an eight-team Western Conference. The owner of the National Hockey League\'s Minnesota Wild has again expressed interest in owning and operating a USHL team in Racine (WI), if a proposed new arena can be built.

United States Premier Hockey League: The Michigan Wild (Farmington Hills) from the Midwest Division of the Tier-III junior-level USPHL recently announced the team will not operate in the 2016-17 season. The Wild joined the USPHL last season.

Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League: The new Ontario-based CPJHL, which operates under the United Hockey Union of the Amateur Athletic Union, recently started its inaugural 2017-18 season with nine teams. The league was to have 11 teams, but teams called the Akwesasne Chiefs and Coldwater Falcons were unable to get off the ground as planned.

SOCCER

United Soccer Leagues "" Premier Development League: The PDL announced a new team called the Nashville SC U23 will start play in the 2017 season. The team will be an affiliate of the new higher-level United Soccer League team called the Nashville SC, which is supposed to start play in the 2018 USL season. The ownership group that started the new indoor soccer team called the Florida Tropics (Lakeland) in the Major Arena Soccer League announced plans to start a new outdoor PDL team called the Lakeland Tropics for the 2017 season.

North American Soccer League: The Division-II NASL could lose some teams after the 2016 season, as the league\'s Ottawa Fury and Tampa Bay Rowdies are rumored to be moving to the Division-III United Soccer League for next season. The NASL\'s Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Ray OKC (Oklahoma City) teams are having financial problems and might not return, while the Minnesota United is leaving to move up to Major League Soccer.

OTHER

American Rugby Premiership: The men\'s elite-level ARP, which is sponsored by USA Rugby, started its 2016 season earlier this month with five teams. The Boston Irish Wolfhounds, Boston Rugby, New York Athletic Club and Old Blue of New York returned from last season, while the Mystic River Rugby (Malden, MA) club replaced the Life University Running Eagles (Atlanta) club, which is scaling back its schedule.

Women\'s Premier League Rugby: The USA Rugby-sponsored WPL started its 2016 season earlier this month with the same eight teams as last season. The Red Conference features eastern teams called the Atlanta Harlequins, D.C. Furies (Washington), New York Rugby and Twin Cities Amazons, while the Blue Conference has four western teams called the Berkeley (CA) All-Blues, Glendale (CA) Raptors, Oregon Sports Union and San Diego Surfers. Teams play six games through the month of October.

Dan Krieger is the creator of the Leagues, Teams & Nicknames 2015-16: "The Leagueology Almanac" , which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today\'s sports world. The publication is available for sale at www.amazon.com.


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