At first I was wondering "What is the NPF and why would they need to move a team to Detroit?" So, I started looking and found the website and the info about where the teams were and it peaked my interest. I agree with you they should move USSSA Pride to Detroit. It would be closer. The big question would have to be, "would the owners WANT to move?" I think the answer is no. They seam to be well established in the Orlando area and have built a fan base. I think the better thing would be an expansion team in the Detroit area. So, yeah...there is my two cents...have a nice day.
I remember the series of games a few years back being held in Calgary. I took that as NPF looking at Calgary as a potential franchise. Again nothing came of it and the backer was the Calgary Vipers ownership.
What would make more sense is for the NPF to find ownership in the Southern States and put another team in the Midwest. Thus, you could have 8 teams (two divisions of 4), it would help the Midwest teams with travel and also reduce USSSA's travel budget for the team. However, pro lacrosse shows that travel budgets aren't necessarily an issue considering some of the teams fly in players for home games and hold practices in Southern Ontario instead of their home bases due to the players living there. Maybe NPF players don't hold regular jobs and devote their entire summers to playing pro softball.
As for Detroit, it isn't a bad idea for a team potentially, except Michigan's economy stinks and I have a feeling NPF ranks somewhere around Indy baseball or the SPHL amongst most sports fans' interest level. Count me as someone who would attend a NPF game and support a local team, but I think even as far as the people who frequent OSC, the NPF is not highly ranked. Thus, a poor economy in Michigan likely means an unsuccessful team. A better idea is to find a smaller place like say Flint or Grand Rapids where instead of being a minnow in an ocean of a sports market, it would be a minnow in a puddle of a sports market. (Yes that is a pretty tortured metaphor). To an extent, minor league basketball has this right where they move into smaller cities where they can be the "pro" game in town.
I don't follow NCAA softball really, so I am unsure where your big pockets of softball fans are, but a team in one of the college towns that back softball would be an idea. The reality is that women's sports will always be viewed by the majority of male sports fans as inferior. About the only time male sports fans in general back women's sports is during the Olympics. I see this with women's hockey in Canada. During the Winter Olympics, hockey fans watch the games and celebrate when Canada wins gold. The other three years, nobody comes out to CWHL games. Team Alberta held a game at the Saddledome in Calgary and had 800 people come out for free in a 19,000 seat arena. If this was a minor league men's game, they would've had 8,000 people likely if tickets were free. My rambling point is, that the ownership groups who get into leagues like the NPF, do it because they love the game, not expect to be millionaires. So if they have travel to Kissimmee a couple times a year or USSSA has to travel to the Midwest for road trips, that is simply the cost of doing business and expanding their love of the game.
As NPF games are not shown on TV in Canada, it makes me wonder are they shown on TV in the US? Can anyone actually watch these games outside of actually sitting in the stands? For anyone who lives in the markets, do the teams have much buzz? I would gather beyond the odd story in the local paper and maybe a mention on the local news, that is the extent of the league coverage.
Some of their games are broadcast on ESPN 2 and 3, but generally they get about as much coverage as minor/indy league baseball.
The local news stations in Chicago make no mention of the Bandits.