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Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report

by Dan Krieger
September 22, 2008 - Golden Baseball League (GBL)

BASEBALL

Golden Baseball League: The GBL is expected to announce two Canadian expansion teams located in British Columbia for the 2009 season. One is expected to be located in Victoria, while the other could be in either Kelowna or Kamloops. The short-lived 2003 Canadian Baseball League had teams called the Victoria Capitals and the Kelowna Heat. A team called the Kamloops Critters was a proposed team in the CBL's early planning stages. The GBL has announced the Tucson Toros will be joining for the 2009 season. The Toros are expected to replace the Reno Silver Sox because Reno is getting a Triple-A team in the Pacific Coast League. Now there is talk of trying to keep the Silver Sox in northern Nevada, possibly in the Carson City area.

Canadian-American League: The prospective new owners of the Nashua (NH) Pride franchise have mentioned "The American Defenders of Nashua" as the team's possible new nickname.

Northern League: The Northern League is pushing for expansion teams in Waukegan (IL) and Burnsville (MN), south of Minneapolis, for the 2010 season.

United League Baseball: Any proposed dismantling of the ULB by the league's current ownership has been put on hold by a court injunction, but the future of the league is uncertain. Also uncertain is a proposed 2009 Brownsville (TX) expansion team that has been listed as the Brownsville Charros.

BASKETBALL

Premier Basketball League: The owner of the proposed Buffalo Sharks in the American Basketball Association has taken control of the Buffalo Dragons PBL franchise, which has now been renamed the Buffalo Stampede for the upcoming 2009 PBL season. The previous owner of the PBL's Dragons will continue to be involved in the PBL's international plans in China. For now, this eliminates having two competing Buffalo-based basketball teams in the upcoming fall/winter season.

American Basketball Association: The ABA's proposed 2009-10 expansion team in Charlotte (NC) will be called the Charlotte Crossover. The league's Fresno Legends team has undergone an ownership change and the team is now known as the Fresno Rebels. The owner of the Buffalo Sharks has left the ABA to take over the new Buffalo Stampede franchise in the Premier Basketball League. In addition to the Buffalo Sharks, the Hollywood Showstoppers, Texas Tycoons, and another Bowling Green (KY) team are no longer listed as teams for the upcoming 2008-09 season.

United States Basketball League: The USBL is still planning a re-start in 2009, with most of the teams to be based in the eastern United States. The league plans to expand to the West Coast in 2010. The USBL sat idle for its spring/summer basketball season in 2008.

Women's Blue Chip Basketball League: The semi-pro WBCBL plans to add an East Coast Region next year with teams in Connecticut, Washington (DC), Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Toronto. A newly formed Mountain-West Region will feature teams in Arizona, Las Vegas, New Mexico and Southern California. In its recent 2008 summertime season, the WBCBL featured teams in regions called the Southern, Mid-South, Suncoast (Florida teams), and Western (Texas/Oklahoma teams).

FOOTBALL

Indoor Football League: After announcing five new teams last week, the new IFL, which was created by the merger of United Indoor Football and the Intense Football League, has granted two more expansion teams for the state of Washington. A team in Everett plans to start play in 2009 and a team in Kent plans to start in 2010. With the addition of Everett, the IFL is up to 24 teams for the 2009 season.

American Indoor Football Association: The AIFA's new Harrisburg (PA) expansion team will be called the Harrisburg Stampede when it begins play in the 2009 season. The league's Carolina Speed franchise, which has been based in Concord (NC) for its two seasons of operation, is expected to announce plans to move to Charlotte for the 2009 season.

Continental Indoor Football League: The CIFL plans to hold a league meeting next week to determine how many teams it will have for the upcoming 2009 season. The league suffered some defections when the Lehigh Valley Outlawz, Muskegon Thunder, Rochester Raiders, Saginaw Sting, and a replacement for the Chesapeake Tide, were given options to join the new Indoor Football League for 2009.

HOCKEY

American Hockey League: The AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms are still looking for a new home. The team could play about half of its 2009-10 season in its current arena, but after that the arena will not be available. Groups in Allentown (PA) and Camden County (NJ) have proposed building new arenas, but the team would need a temporary home. One possibility is the arena in Atlantic City that formerly housed an ECHL franchise. The Phantoms have had interest from other cities, but they want to try to keep the team in the Philadelphia area.

Mid-Atlantic Hockey League: Last month, the ownership of the MAHL was assumed by a consortium of investors and MAHL owners, but the status of the league for the upcoming 2008-09 season is unknown. At one time, the MAHL had hoped to have eight teams start the season: the Battle Creek Revolution, Chelsea (MI) Tornadoes, Detroit Dragons, Indiana (PA) Ice Miners, Lake Erie (OH) Vikings, Pittsburgh Iron, South Shore Shooters (Dyer, IN) and Trenton (MI) Warriors.

SOCCER

Major League Soccer: The owner of the Ottawa Senators in the National Hockey League officially announced plans to build a soccer-specific stadium in Ottawa for an MLS expansion franchise in 2011. There is a possibility the new stadium could be shared by both an MLS team and a proposed Ottawa expansion team in the Canadian Football League.

Women's Professional Soccer: The St. Louis WPS franchise will be known simply as "St. Louis", with no nickname for at least its first year. The team's owner is trying to obtain a men's franchise in Major League Soccer and both teams could share the same name, if that happens.

Professional Arena Soccer League: The PASL's Stockton Cougars have announced a player development agreement with the Turlock Express of the Premier Arena Soccer League. The PASL-Premier is the top amateur arena soccer league. When the Cougars were part of the Major Indoor Soccer League last season, their PASL-Premier affiliate was the Stockton Pumas, who are now on hiatus until the 2009 Summer Season of the PASL-Premier. The PASL-Professional now has the West Virginia Quantum Force and Baja Mexico All-Stars listed as possible future teams in the league.

United Soccer Leagues (Premier Development League): The ownership of the Midland RockHounds baseball team in the Double-A Texas League plan to operate a PDL franchise in 2009. The team's official nickname will be chosen in a name-the-team-contest and will include "West Texas United" in the name.

Xtreme Soccer League: The four teams in the newly formed XLS, which will consist of the Chicago Storm, Detroit Ignition, Milwaukee Wave and New Jersey Ironmen, will play a 20-game season from December 2008 through March 2009.

OTHER

National Lacrosse League: The indoor NLL appears to be interested in placing an expansion franchise in Oklahoma City.

Dan Krieger is the creator of "Leagues, Teams & Nicknames", which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The latest version can be found at http://www.lulu.com/content/2533047. Dan can be contacted at dankrieger@leaguesteamsnicknames.com.

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Golden Baseball League Stories from September 22, 2008


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