Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
October 2, 2012 - Frontier League (FL)
Frontier League: Construction has been delayed for a new ballpark in Woodstock (IL) that was to become home for the McHenry County K-Nines team in the Frontier League. Original groundbreaking for the project was expected back in 2009, but it has faced financing problems and other issues. The new goal for completion is now the start of the 2014 baseball season.
Atlantic Baseball League: The ABL's Sugar Land Skeeters team was renamed the Sugar Land War Chickens for its final regular-season game last weekend as part of a "What Could Have Been Night". The "War Chickens" was one of the ten nickname suggestions for the team when it was formed two years ago.
Can-Am League: A new Quebec-based team called the Trois Rivieres Eagles (or Aigles in French) plans to be part of the Can-Am League in 2013 with an official league announcement scheduled for next week.
Pecos League: The attempt by the Pecos League to place a team in Pueblo (CO) has apparently failed, but the league has replaced Pueblo with another possible new team called the Taos (NM) Blizzard. The league had six teams in 2012 and plans to have either six or eight teams in 2013. It is also working on another new team called the Pecos (TX) Bills and trying to find a new home ballpark for the Roswell (NM) Invaders so that team can return in 2013.
Midwest League: The long-term future of the Beloit (WI) Snappers in the low Class-A Midwest League is uncertain. The team has not been successful in obtaining a much-needed new stadium and it ranks near the bottom in average attendance. If the team were to leave, there has been talk of a summer-collegiate Northwoods League team possibly filling the void.
Major League Baseball: The developer of a once-proposed new football stadium in the Los Angeles area's City of Industry is now looking to lure MLB's Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to a proposed new baseball stadium on the site. The Angels' lease in Anaheim expires in 2016.
National Basketball League of Canada: The group trying to build a new 20,000-seat arena in the Toronto suburb of Markham for a possible second Toronto-based National Hockey League franchise has been in discussions with the NBL-Canada about a possible Markham-based basketball team for the new arena. The arena is projected to be completed in late 2014.
National Basketball Association: The city council in Seattle has granted initial approval for construction of a new arena that could become home to an NBA franchise. The league's Sacramento Kings have been mentioned as the number one relocation candidate. Virginia Beach (VA) is working on its own new arena plan that has targeted the Sacramento Kings for possible relocation.
National Basketball Association Development League: The proposed new temporary facility planned for the D-League's new Santa Cruz (CA) Warriors could be stalled by a possible lawsuit.
American Basketball Association: The owner of the Bahama All Pro Show announced the basketball team will be part of the ABA for the upcoming 2012-13 season. The team was based out of Miami when it played in two previous ABA seasons (2007-09). The ABA's Porter County Punishers team, based in Portage (IN), is now listed as the Indiana State Warriors in the Mid Central Division.
Bikini Basketball League: The new women's BBL will feature players dressed in bikinis and plans to start play in the summer of 2013. Seven teams called the Atlanta Fleet Angels, Chicago Desire, Hollywood Hotties, Los Angeles Ice, Miami Spice, New York Knockouts, and Orlando Lady Cats were announced.
Women's American Basketball Association: The proposed WABA, which has been trying to get off the ground for the past two years, scheduled a four-team tournament in Indianapolis for September 29, 2012. Participating teams were listed as the Mid-West Diamonds (Indianapolis), Louisville Fillies, Grand Rapids Stars, and Cleveland Crush.
Continental Indoor Football League: The Evansville (IN) Rage, which completed its inaugural 2012 season as part of the CIFL, has moved to Owensboro (KY) where the team will be called the Owensboro Rage for its second season in 2013. The CIFL has two other Kentucky-based teams-the expansion Kentucky Xtreme (Louisville) and the Kentucky Drillers (Pikeville).
Indoor Football League: It looks as though the IFL's Omaha Beef franchise has folded. The league took control of the franchise early in the 2012 season and was trying to find new ownership. A group wanting to start an Omaha expansion franchise in the new Champions Professional Indoor Football League was reportedly trying to purchase the Omaha Beef name and assets for the CPIFL's inaugural season in 2013. The Cheyenne Warriors team, which played its first season as part of the 2012 indoor American Professional Football League, has announced it will be part of the IFL for its 2013 season.
Lone Star Football League: The ownership of the Corpus Christ Hammerheads has had its membership terminated by the indoor LSFL.
Ultimate Indoor Football League: With the Lone Star Football League terminating the ownership of its Corpus Christi Hammerheads team, the UIFL has announced plans to place a new expansion team in Corpus Christi for the 2013 season. The league also confirmed its 2012 travel team called the Western Pennsylvania Sting has come under new individual ownership and will be based in Coral Gables (FL). The Miami area team is expected to be called the South Florida Sting.
American Professional Football League: The Indianapolis Panthers indoor football team, which was at one time announced as a new 2013 team for the Ultimate Indoor Football League before being dropped, now states it will be part of the indoor APFL in 2013. The APFL lost four of its eight teams from last season to the new Champions Professional Indoor Football League and one team to the Indoor Football League.
Indoor Championship Football League: The semi-pro ICFL plans to start its second full season with four teams called the Baltimore Vikings, Maryland Raiders, Virginia Knights, and West Virginia Ducks. The 2012-13 regular season starts in early November and ends December 30. All teams will play six games at a either of two complexes-one in Landover (MD) and another in Winchester (VA).
United Football League: The outdoor professional UFL has started its fourth season with the same four teams as last season playing an eight-game schedule. These include the Las Vegas Locomotives (Locos), Omaha Nighthawks, Sacramento Mountain Lions, and Virginia Destroyers (Norfolk).
Canadian Football League: Although the proposed new Ottawa-based CFL franchise plans to start play in 2014, work on renovations to the city's Frank Clair Stadium need to start soon or the team's start could be pushed back to 2015. The Ottawa franchise was announced in 2008 with plans to start in 2010, but those plans kept getting pushed back due to lawsuits and other delays surrounding the refurbished stadium. HOCKEY
Southern Professional Hockey League: The SPHL announced plans to host a pre-season exhibition game in Bossier-Shreveport (LA) on October 20 between the Lafayette-based Louisiana IceGators and the Huntsville (AL) Havoc. The Bossier-Shreveport area has been wanting a minor league hockey team ever since its Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs team, a long-time member of the Central Hockey League, disbanded after the 2010-11 CHL season.
National Hockey League: With the recent Seattle city council approval for construction of a new arena, which could become home to both an NHL and a National Basketball Association franchise, representatives of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers visited Seattle this past week for discussions about possible relocation to the new arena. The Oilers have been trying to get a new arena built in Edmonton for the past four years. A recent Edmonton arena plan has stalled over the public's portion of financing for the project.
Ontario Hockey League: The Brampton Battalion of the major-junior OHL has not renewed its arena lease for next season and there is speculation the team could move to North Bay (Ontario) for next season. The Battalion came to Brampton in 1998 and has been one of the lowest-drawing teams in the league. A team called the North Bay Centennials previously played in the OHL before moving to become the Saginaw (MI) Spirit for the 2002-03 season.
Professional Arena Soccer League: The PASL has announced new teams called the Texas Strikers, based out of the Ford Arena in Beaumont, and the Chicago Mustangs will be part of the upcoming 2012-13 season. Another new team called the Rio Grande Valley Flash and based in Hidalgo (TX) will also be part of the 2012-13 season. The owner of the Monterrey (Mexico) Flash indoor soccer team from Mexico's indoor soccer league called the Liga Mexicana de Futbol Rapido (LMFR), an affiliate of the PASL, decided to move the Flash to Hidalgo and the PASL. A new PASL Central Division will include five new teams for 2012-13. The include the Chicago Mustangs, Dallas Sidekicks, Rio Grande Valley Flash, Rockford (IL) Rampage, and Texas Strikers. The PASL plans to have a total of 19 teams in 2012-13 aligned into four divisions called the Central Division, Eastern Division, Southwestern Division, and Pacific Division.
United Soccer Leagues - PRO League: The VSI Tampa Bay Flames organization, which operated USL men's teams in the 2012 Premier Development League and the 2012 Super-20 League, along with a women's team in the 2012 USL W-League, plans to have a VSI Tampa Bay Flames men's team in the 2013 USL PRO league.
World Series of Boxing: The team-based international boxing league called the World Series of Boxing has announced new teams called the Argentinean Condors, the Polish Hussars, and a yet-to-be-named Ukraine team have been added for the league's third season in 2012-13. The WSB had 12 teams last season including two North American teams called the Los Angeles Matadors and the Mexico Guerreros.
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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Frontier League Stories from October 2, 2012
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.