Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
August 20, 2012 - Atlantic League (AtL)
Atlantic Baseball League: An ownership group (Opening Day Partners) with teams in the independent ABL is working with the city of Fredericksburg (VA) toward construction of a 5,000-seat ballpark that could possibly bring an ABL team to the area about 50 miles south of Washington (DC).
Pacific Coast League: The Omaha Storm Chasers of the Triple-A PCL were renamed the OmaHogs for one game on August 18 as part of a "What if?" promotion. The OmaHogs was one of nine finalists in a name-the-team contest prior to the 2011 season when the team changed from the Omaha Royals to the Storm Chasers. The league's Reno (NV) Aces were renamed the Reno Ghost Riders for a three-game series last month as part of a "What Could Have Been" weekend.
National Baseball League: An organization called Blanchette Sports Holdings (BSH) is trying to a start new professional league called the National Baseball League, which was originally called the Southeast Baseball League. Although BSH lists the National Baseball League, some reports have the league called the Nationwide Baseball League. BSH also lists proposed new leagues in men's and women's basketball, hockey, softball, wrestling, men's and women's indoor football, and indoor soccer.
Freedom Pro Baseball League: Although the new Arizona-based FPBL has had to cancel some games this season because of rent owed on ballpark leases, the league president claims it will finish its 2012 season and return next season with an additional two teams to be added.
Can-Am League: The Can-Am League had to step in and pay some charges for its Worcester (MA) Tornadoes franchise. The Tornadoes have been suffering from poor attendance and financial problems, but the team plans to complete its 2012 season and return in 2013.
Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League: The ACPBL has completed its short summer season in which six teams played four to six games from early July to early August. Teams included the ACPBL Metro, Chinatown Dynasty, Manhattan Pride, New York Primetime, NYC 524, and the New York City Jaguars.
Professional Basketball League: The PBL recently held an owners' meeting for its 2012-13 season and announced the league will no longer be paying 100 percent of operational costs and each team will be required to pay league dues. It is uncertain how this will affect the league membership for 2012-13. The PBL started last season with 11 teams and finished with 9 teams. The league plans to start its 2012-13 season on December 31, 2012.
Lone Star Football League: The Abilene Ruff Riders franchise in the Texas-based indoor LSFL has been renamed the Abilene Bombers. The name was chosen for its connection to the local Dyess Air Force Base. The franchise started out as the Katy (TX) Ruff Riders for two seasons (2007-08) in the Intense Football League. The team moved to Abilene for the 2009 season when the Intense Football League became part of the new Indoor Football League. After two seasons (2009-10) in the IFL, the Ruff Riders played in the 2011 Southern Indoor Football League before switching to the new LSFL for 2012.
Champions Professional Indoor Football League: The proposed new CPIFL was created by the Sioux City (IA) Bandits team, which left the indoor American Professional Football League after its recently completed 2012 season. Other APFL teams called the Mid-Missouri Outlaws (Sedalia) and the Oklahoma Defenders (Tulsa) have reportedly committed to the new league, along with a soon-to-be-announced team in Kansas City and the Wichita Wild, which was part of the 2012 Indoor Football League. The Sioux City Bandits had left the IFL after the 2010 season to join the APFL.
National Canadian Arena Football League: The new NCAFL wants to start an indoor season in 2014 with all Canadian teams. There were a few previous efforts to create an indoor football league in Canada. The North American Indoor Football League planned to play three-down indoor football and had 14 proposed teams back in 2004 and 2005, but it failed to get started. The organizer of the Indoor Canadian Football League had ties to the outdoor Canadian Football League, but plans for that league were abandoned in 2001. The Canadian Indoor Football League wanted to have ten teams playing a 2002 season, but it too never got off the ground.
Ontario Hockey League: The Brampton (Ontario) Battalion of the major-junior OHL, which is one of three leagues in the major-junior Canadian Hockey League, will see its arena lease expire at the end of the 2012-13 season and it is uncertain if the team will return for 2013-14. The local arena needs some improvements and the team president claims to have at least two offers from other markets.
Midwest Junior Hockey League: The Junior Hockey News reported that some of the teams in the new MWJHL, which is affiliated with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), have not signed enough players to compete and may have to sit out the upcoming 2012-13 season. The league has decided to push back the start of its inaugural season by two weeks to give more time to some of these teams.
Major League Soccer: The MLS is pushing to build a new 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Queens (Flushing Meadows) for a possible second New York City area franchise. A deal is a long way from being finalized and it could still be a few years before stadium completion. The league would like a second team in the New York City area to become a natural rival for its New York Red Bulls franchise, which plays in a new stadium built in Patterson (NJ).
United Soccer Leagues - PRO: The new Phoenix-based team in the Division III USL PRO league was announced last month as the Phoenix City FC for its start in 2013. The team could be changing its name to simply Phoenix FC due to a conflict with another soccer organization known as the Phoenix City FC.
Dan Krieger is the creator of the "The Leagueology Almanac 2011-12", which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The publication is currently available at www.amazon.com.
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