The Phantom Sports Franchise Report

by Dan Krieger
January 8, 2008 - American Basketball Association (ABA)

When planning a season in any sports league, whether it's a newly developed league or an established league, events happen that might force a previously announced team to fold, move, or change its name before the team or league even begins play. The following is a list of some of these "phantom franchises" from the year 2007. Several teams announced by developing leagues may not be part of the current list because there was still a chance those teams could start playing in the future.

Akron Cougars: Formerly the 2006 Cuyahoga Falls Cougars of the International Basketball League; the owner planned to move the Cougars to Akron for the 2007 season, but then left the IBL to join another proposed league called the Universal Basketball League that has yet to develop; a new team called the Akron Energy replaced the Cougars in 2007.

Alameda Action: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.

Albany Thunderdawgs: American Basketball Association franchise proposed in 2007 for Albany (GA); arena costs forced the owner to look at other locations, possibly Bristol (TN), Jackson (TN) or Tampa.

Alexandria Wind Jammers: Proposed American Basketball Association expansion franchise for the past two seasons, but no longer listed; franchise was originally announced as the Alexandria Mongolia United.

Anaheim/Alameda Street Boys: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League franchise that start as Anaheim and then changed to Alameda; team became the Tri-Valley Ranchers prior to start of season.

Arkansas Fantastics: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association franchise that was originally announced as the Fayetteville Fantastics; team was later based in Fort Smith, but planned to play throughout state and was renamed the Arkansas Fantastics.

Arkansas Jammers: Proposed 2007 World Basketball Association franchise listed on league site in mid-March 2007, but was not part of 2007 season.

Bayshore Brawlers: Eastern Indoor Football League franchise based in Aberdeen (NJ); left the league prior to inaugural season; failed in an attempt to join the American Indoor Football Association.

Boston United Eagles: Original name for the 2007-08 American Basketball Association franchise, whose rights were purchased from the Cape Cod Frenzy owners; team was eventually renamed the Boston Blizzard.

California (Ventura) Eagles: Proposed American Basketball Association expansion franchise for the past two seasons, but no longer listed.

California Stars: Proposed International Basketball League franchise announced in July 2006 for East Los Angeles, but no longer listed; a 2008 Los Angeles franchise called the Lightning was announced.

Carolina Fusion: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League franchise name; team was to replace the Charlotte Fusion team that was unable to form for the 2006 NIFL season.

Cedar Rapids Running Guns: Proposed American Basketball Association (ABA) expansion franchise announced for the past two seasons, but no longer listed.

Central Texas Diplomats: Original name for a Killeen-based franchise in the proposed United Basketball League; the franchise was moved to Belton (TX) in June 2007 and was renamed the Central Texas Jammers.

Chatooga Rage: Proposed 2007 World Basketball Association franchise listed on the league's 2007 draft list in mid-April 2007, but was not part of 2007 season.

Colorado Candoos: The first name for a 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise located in the Colorado Springs area; the franchise changed its name to the Colorado Wild Riders before its first scheduled game.

Colorado Castle Rocks: A 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion team based in Douglas County that never played a game.

Columbia (SC) Rottweilers: Proposed American Basketball Association (ABA) expansion franchise announced for the past two seasons, but no longer listed.

Edmonton Sled Dawgz: Proposed International Basketball League franchise announced in 2007 for a proposed 2008 start; replaced by the Edmonton Chill franchise under different ownership that plans to start in 2008.

El Paso S'ol: Formerly the New Mexico Style of the 2005-06 American Basketball Association that planned a moved to El Paso in 2006-07 or 2007-08; this proposed franchise is no longer listed.

Flint Tropics: Proposed American Basketball Association franchise that was announced with the league's first version of the 2007-08 schedule, but the team never developed.

Fayetteville Fantastics: Original nickname for a proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association franchise; renamed Arkansas Fantastics based in Fort Smith; adopted "Arkansas" in name because team planned to play in various locations throughout the state.

Fort Lauderdale Frenzy: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.

Fort Worth Escape: First name announced for the Fort Worth Funk of the proposed United Basketball League.

Fort Worth Funk: United Basketball League franchise originally known as the Fort Worth Escape, but this Fort Worth UBL franchise then became the Fort Worth Falcons.

Fort Worth Funky Star Prospects: Proposed 2007 World Basketball Association franchise that reportedly was going to join for the second half of the 2007 WBA season; team did not play in the WBA and was apparently looking for another league to join.

Fresno Fury: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.

Georgia Warriors: Proposed 2007 World Basketball Association franchise listed on the league site in mid-March 2007, but never was part of 2007 season.

Grand Prairie (TX) Splash: Original name announced for the Grand Prairie Stallions franchise of the proposed United Basketball League.

Gulf Coast Pirates: First name given to the American Indoor Football Association's Gulf Coast Raiders road team that played a short schedule in 2007 with plans to join in 2008.

Harbor Shore Dreams: Proposed Benton Harbor (MI) American Basketball Association franchise that was noted as a possible replacement for the nearby Twin City Ballers franchise, which was having venue problems during the 2006-07 season; the Dreams hoped to start play in 2007-08, but were no longer listed.

Hattiesburg Playmakers: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.

Houston Wild Riders: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.

Jacksonville Pelicans: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League franchise name; franchise evolved into the Green Cove Lions.

Kentucky Colonels/Retros: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association franchise originally known as the Kentucky Colonels; team never made it to the regular season.

Kentucky Knightmares: Formerly the Kentucky Force team of the 2006 Women's Football League; the Knightmares were quickly renamed the Kentucky Valkyries and the team joined the Women's Professional Football League in 2007.

Lake Erie Steelheads: Eastern Indoor Football League franchise that was to play one exhibition game in the 2007 season and join as a full-time team in 2008; EIFL disbanded before the Steelheads' ever played.

Las Vegas Lights: Name of a proposed American Basketball Association franchise for the 2007-08 season; in May 2007 the team was renamed the Las Vegas PROLYMS (Pro + Olympic) after the team's owner, PROLYM Enterprises.

Las Vegas PROLYMs: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association franchise originally called the Las Vegas Lights; team never made it to the regular season.

Long Beach Muscle Heads: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.

Long Beach Storm: A proposed American Basketball Association franchise for the 2007-08 season; the owner got into trouble and another Long Beach franchise called the Breakers replaced the Storm.

Los Angeles Diamonds: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.

Miami Majesty: Formerly the Florida Pitbulls of the American Basketball Association that moved to the Continental Basketball Association after the 2005-06 season; the team sat dormant for the 2006-07 CBA season and was renamed Miami Majesty; franchise was switched to Pikeville as the East Kentucky Miners for the 2007-08 CBA season.

Michigan Blaze/Showboats: The Michigan Blaze was the first name listed for a new 2006-07 Major League Roller Hockey franchise, but the team eventually became the Showboats. The Showboats franchise was sold just prior to its start and renamed the Michigan Rebels, based in Grandville.

Mobile Muskateers: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.

New Hampshire Freedom: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association team listed on the first version of the season schedule; team eventually became the Manchester Millrats franchise.

New Jersey Freedom: Proposed International Basketball League franchise that never started play.

New Orleans Blues: Proposed American Basketball Association over the past few seasons, but no longer listed.

Northern Nevada Blackjacks: Proposed Reno-based Continental Basketball Association franchise for 2006-07 that never developed; the market was more interest in a possible National Basketball Association Development League franchise for 2008-09.

Norfolk Navigators: Proposed 2006-07 and 2007-08 American Basketball Association franchise that never started play.

Oklahoma City Cavalry: Proposed 2007-08 Continental Basketball Association franchise that was moved to Lawton (OK) and renamed the Oklahoma Cavalry, prior its inaugural 2007-08 season.

Olympia Titans: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association (ABA) franchise, but no longer listed.

Pasadena Push: Original name of the Los Angeles Push, a 2007-08 American Basketball Association expansion franchise.

Phoenix Phantomz/Phantoms: Originally known as the Phantomz, this proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association expansion franchise never started play.

Reading Railers: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association expansion franchise; franchise switched to the Premier Basketball League before playing an ABA game.

Rio Grande Valley Silverados: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association expansion franchise; switched to the Continental Basketball Association for its 2007-08 season before ever playing in the ABA.

Rochester (MN) Fire: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association expansion franchise that ran into financial problems before its inaugural season and dropped from the league after one exhibition game.

Rock River Fury: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association franchise that had played as the Sauk Valley Rollers in the second half of the 2006-07 ABA season; franchise switched to the Premier Basketball League before playing a game in the ABA as the Rock River Fury.

Rome Knights: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association franchise; the Knights were part of an organization that also operated the Rome (GA) Gladiators of the World Basketball Association; the organization folded due to legal problems of a co-owner; a new ABA franchise called the Rome Legions was formed to replace the Knights.

Rome Legions: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association expansion franchise that replaced the Rome Knights franchise, which had folded; the Legions never started play and are no longer listed.

Sacramento Wildfire: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.

St. George Heat: Proposed International Basketball League expansion franchise announced in October 2006, but is no longer listed.

Salt Lake City Dream: Originally announced as the Utah Dream in February 2006, this American Basketball Association expansion franchise planned to start play in 2007-08, but is no longer listed.

San Antonio Player Haters: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League franchise name that was switched to the San Antonio Steers prior to the season.

San Antonio Stallions: Proposed American Basketball Association (ABA) franchise originally announced for the 2005-06 season, but no longer listed.

San Francisco Quakes: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.

Saskatoon Prairie Wolves: Proposed International Basketball League franchise that was to start play in 2008.

Snohomish County Stealth: Original name for the Snohomish County Stallions, one of the original franchises in the proposed 2008 fall/winter Indoor Gridiron Football League.

Southern Georgia 36ers: Proposed 2007-08American Basketball Association expansion franchise announced in July 2006; financial support fell through and franchise is no longer listed.

Tacoma Jets: Original name of the 2007 replacement for the 2006 Tacoma Thunder of the International Basketball League; franchise became the Tacoma Jazz just prior to start of 2007 season.

Tallahassee Tigers: Proposed American Basketball Association expansion franchise announced in August 2006, but no longer listed.

Tampa Bay Red Tide/Tide: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise; originally called the Red Tide, which was later shortened to Tide.

Tijuana Galgos: Proposed 2007 International Basketball League franchise.

Tucson Flame: Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association expansion franchise that never started play.

Virginia Ballerz: Name of the former Richmond Ballerz franchise that played part of the 2006-07 ABA season; the team planned to regroup and move to Hampton Roads for the 2007-08 season and was referred to as the Virginia Ballerz, but the Virginia Ballerz never restarted.

Washington Internationals: Proposed American Basketball Association franchise announced in February 2006, but not longer listed.

Wayne County Rumble: Originally, the proposed Toledo Rumble of the 2007 CIFL that was forced to move to Wooster (OH) as the Wayne County Rumble; franchise then moved to the Akron area as the Summit County Rumble prior to the start of 2007 season.

Winston-Salem Wildcats: Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.

Note: OurSports Central no longer actively covers the American Basketball Association (ABA) as a professional league due in part to its inability to publish and play a schedule and the transitory nature of many of its teams. For information on professional minor leagues, please see OSC's basketball section.

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