Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
March 8, 2010 - Canadian American League (Can-Am)
Can-Am League: The city of Ramapo (NY) plans to build a 3,500-seat ballpark and wants it to be home to a Can-Am franchise. The ballpark is expected to be ready by June 2011 and the league is currently looking for possible ownership of the franchise. With the American Defenders of New Hampshire moving from Nashua to Pittsfield (MA) for 2010, it is uncertain whether the team will change its nickname. The owners of the club also owned the Pittsfield American Defenders summer-collegiate team in 2009, but that team was sold to a group in Bristol (CT). The Pittsfield Colonials could be one possible name.
United League Baseball: Some of the ULB teams have been announcing their 2010 schedules and it appears as though the ULB will have the same six teams as last season. These include the Amarillo Dillas, Coastal Bend Thunder, Edinburg Roadrunners, Laredo Broncos, Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings, and San Angelo Colts.
Prospect League: The Prospect League and four other league that are members of the National Association of College Summer Baseball (NACSB) have reportedly been dropped by the organization because those leagues were operated for profit. The NACSB had eight leagues in 2009 and member leagues receive funding from Major League Baseball.
KIT League: The summer-collegiate KIT League plans to add a new team called the Farmington (MO) Browns. The league had a previous team called the Farmington Firebirds for four seasons, but it dropped out after the 2008 season.
National Basketball Association Development League: The Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA D-League plan to move to suburban Rio Rancho for the 2010-11 season and the team will be renamed the New Mexico Thunderbirds.
Continental Basketball League: The proposed CBL has announced its fifth team for its inaugural 2010 season will be called the Birmingham (AL) Steel. The other previously announced teams are the Carolina Cougarz (Fayetteville, NC), Georgia Gwizzlies, Savannah (GA) Wildcats, and Wilmington (NC) Sea Dawgs.
United States Basketball Association: The USBA still plans to open its inaugural season on April 7, 2010, but it is down from 18 teams to 12 teams split into 3 divisions. The Huntsville Storm, Louisville Locomotive, Washington Congressionals, Mississippi Riverhawks, Mobile Mariners, and Montgomery Generals are apparently gone for 2010. The Macon Marauders team has been replaced by the Columbus (GA) Marauders. The USBA was born out of a 2006 effort to expand the United States Basketball League, but that league has not played since 2007.
United Football League: The UFL has announced it will move its California Redwoods franchise to Sacramento for its second season in 2010. The Redwoods played two home games in San Francisco and one in San Jose in 2009. The new Sacramento UFL team will also receive a new nickname.
National Football League: The investor trying to build a new Los Angeles football stadium apparently will not move forward until an NFL franchise has committed to Los Angeles. The Jacksonville Jaguars franchise is considered to be at the top of the list for relocation candidates.
Continental Indoor Football League: The Marion Mayhem has reappeared on the 2010 CIFL schedule. After the 2009 season, the Mayhem ownership tried to move the team to Columbus (OH) as the Aces, but those plans fell through. It looks as though a new ownership group will re-establish the Marion Mayhem for the 2010 season.
Regional Indoor Football League: Although the Augusta (GA) Mavericks will be part of the inaugural RIFL season in 2010, the Mavericks signed a participation agreement with the Southern Indoor Football League and plans to play in the SIFL for the 2011 season. The RIFL is planning its own expansion for 2011 and announced a Cleveland-based team will be part of a proposed North Division.
Federal Hockey League: The proposed FHL has announced its fourth team for the league's inaugural 2010-11 season will be the Ontario-based Akwesasne Warriors. The three previous teams announced were the Danbury (CT) Whalers, Rome (NY) Frenzy, and Thousand Islands (NY) Privateers.
American Hockey League: The AHL's Portland Pirates, whose lease expires after the 2009-10 season, are reportedly negotiating with the arena in Albany (NY) for next season. The league's Albany River Rats franchise has already announced a move to Charlotte for 2010-11.
North American Hockey League: The Tier II Junior-A NAHL has approved the relocation of its North Iowa Outlaws team, based in Mason City, to Onalaska (WI) in the La Crosse area for the 2010-11 season. As part of the move the team will be called the Coulee Region Chill next season. The North Iowa Outlaws joined the NAHL as an expansion team for the 2005-06 season. The NAHL is trying to arrange for another ownership group to operate a new team in North Iowa. For the 2009-10 hockey season, the NAHL operated the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) with five weekend events sanctioned by USA Hockey. The goal of the NAPHL is to gain exposure for Tier I Midget AAA players.
Major League Soccer: The MLS has had discussions with the English Premier League to try to get some of those clubs to invest in MLS teams or start new MLS franchises in the United States.
United Soccer Leagues - First Division: The ownership of the Orlando Titans team in the National Lacrosse League has announced plans to operate an Orlando-based USL First Division franchise in 2011. Orlando's current USL Premier Development League team called the Central Florida Kraze plans to partner with the new professional First Division club. The USL's First Division teams are competing as part of a United States Soccer Federation Division II Pro League in 2010, but the USL is planning to re-establish its own First Division league in 2011.
National Premier Soccer League: The Minneapolis-St. Paul area will have two teams in the 2010 NPSL with the arrival of the new Minnesota Kings FC. The area's other NPSL team called the St. Paul Twinstars has been part of the league since 2005. The Kings will not have a home field in 2010, but will play at different locations in the Twin Cities area. The NPSL started play as the Men's Premier Soccer League in 2003 and became the NPSL in 2005 when it added some Midwest teams. The NPSL level of play is similar to that of the Premier Development League in the United Soccer Leagues.
United Soccer Leagues - Second Division: The Harrisburg (PA) City Islanders of the USL Second Division have announced an exclusive affiliation with the Philadelphia Union, a 2010 expansion team in Major League Soccer. The Islanders have been part of the USL since the 2004 season.
North Atlantic Indoor Lacrosse: The new NAIL has been formed as a developmental lacrosse league not only for players, but also coaches and office personnel on and off the field. The NAIL plans to start play in December 2010 and its first two teams are the Carolina Vortex and Huntington Hawks.
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 2008-09 version can be found at http://www.lulu.com/content/6218580. Dan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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