Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
May 6, 2013 - Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)
Midwest League: The Peoria city council approved a financial restructuring plan for the Peoria Chiefs that will allow the low Class-A Midwest League team to remain in the city.
West Coast League: The summer-collegiate WCL plans to add a team in Yakima (WA) for the 2014 season. The city recently lost the Yakima Bears of the short-season Class-A Northwest League, as that team is relocated to become the Hillsboro (OR) Hops for the 2013 season.
American West Baseball League: The new Bisbee (AZ) team that plans to play in the 2013 season of the proposed AWBL will be called the Bisbee Copperheads. The league also announced that the ownership of its Nogales (AZ) Desert Ghosts team will also own and operate the league's Las Cruces (NM) Sun Rays team. A fourth team for the 2013 season is expected to be the Fullerton (CA) Flyers.
Freedom Professional Baseball League: The independent Arizona-based FPBL is preparing for its second season and it now lists new names for its four teams. The Arizona Centennials are now the Goodyear Centennials, the Copper State Prospectors are the Phoenix Prospectors, the Montezuma Federals are the Prescott Federals, and the Sonoran Explorers are the Peoria Explorers.
Ohio Valley Summer Collegiate Baseball League: The Dubois County (IN) Bombers summer-collegiate team has moved from the Prospect League to the Ohio Valley League for the 2013 season. The Bombers will be the sixth team in OVL, which had five Kentucky-based teams in 2012.
Major League Baseball: Some San Jose business leaders have discussed possible litigation against MLB for its failure to make a decision on allowing the Oakland A's to relocate to San Jose. The San Francisco Giants hold a territorial claim to the San Jose market and operate their high Class-A affiliate called the San Jose Giants in the California League. The owner of the Chicago Cubs raised the possibility of moving out of Wrigley Field if certain improvements to the facility cannot be agreed upon. Various suburban locations like Rosemount, Schaumburg and Naperville expressed interest in working with the Cubs on a new home.
National Basketball Association: The NBA relocation committee recommended that a Seattle group's bid to purchase and relocate the Sacramento Kings franchise to Seattle should be denied. A full vote by NBA owners on the subject will take place in a couple of weeks.
American Basketball Association: The ABA recently completed its 2012-13 season and now lists several new teams called the Brooklyn Blackout, Fort Smith Firebirds, Hattiesburg Hornets, Chicago Court Kingz, South Houston Assault and Illinois Balldogz.
IBA-PBL: The Albany (NY) Legends of the merged 2013 IBA-PBL (Independent Basketball Association/Premier Basketball League) are making plans to move to a facility in Schenectady (NY) by late 2013 or early 2014. The team will then be renamed the Schenectady Legends. The Legends are playing a short three-game road schedule as part of the 2013 IBA-PBL spring season.
Women's Blue Chip Basketball League: The semi-pro WBCBL has started its 2013 season with about 40 teams aligned in 9 regional divisions. The league's Boston Bombers team recently decided to change its team name to the Boston Bulldogs in light of the recent Boston Marathon tragedy.
Indoor Football League: The nine-team IFL is currently about halfway into its fifth season, but is already making plans for next season. The league wants to grow to a minimum of 12 teams in 2014 and is currently talking with several potential candidates.
Independent Women's Football League: The IWFL recently started its 2013 spring season with 32 teams. Eight of these are designated as Tier-3 or six-player teams. The others are 11-player teams aligned into eight regional divisions. Some of the new teams for 2013 include the New England Nightmare, New York Knockout, Keystone Assault, Washington Prodigy, Chattanooga Locomotion, Nor Cal Red Hawk, DFW Xtreme, Alamo City Wildcats, San Antonio Regulators and Nevada Storm. The IWFL has been around since 2001.
Golden State Indoor Football League: The West Coast Indoor Football League, which was announced as a developmental minor league for the proposed return of the Western Indoor Football Association in 2014, has come under new ownership as the GSIFL. The six-team league starts play next week.
A-11 Football League: The new spring-summer professional A11FL plans to start play in the spring of 2014 with a new patented A-11 Offense that features interchangeable players at every position.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League: With a local ownership group coming forward to purchase the Prince Edward Island Rocket of the QMJHL, the group wanting to buy the team and move it to Sorel-Tracy (Quebec) pulled back its offer. The new ownership group could honor a team name change to the Islanders that was announced in September 2012, but the team might be called the Charlottetown Islanders instead of the previously announced P.E.I. Islanders.
North American 3 Hockey League: The Tier-III NA3HL, which is affiliated with the Tier-II North American Hockey League, announced its Quad City Junior Flames team based in Davenport (IA) will be moving to Madison (WI) for the 2013-14 season. The team will also undergo a name change. The team joined the league as the Quad City Express for the 2004-05 season and changed to the Junior Flames for the 2009-10 season.
Canadian Soccer League: After going through an arbitration hearing, the CSL was reinstated as a sanctioned league by the Canadian Soccer Association, at least until February 2014. The CSL started its 2013 season this weekend with a 12-team First Division and a 9-team Second Division. The First Division lost five teams from 2012, but added the Burlington SC. The First Division's North York Astros club merged with the Toronto Vasas organization, an offshoot of a Hungarian sports club, to become the Astros Vasas FC for 2013. Nine of the First Division teams have Second Division "B" teams for 2013.
United Soccer Leagues - Premier Development League: Some of the 65 teams that will make up the 2013 PDL have started their 2013 seasons. The alignment features four conferences (Eastern, Southern, Central and Western), three of which have two regional divisions each and one with three divisions. The league lost 12 of its 73 teams from last season, but added 4 new teams called the Réal Boston Rams, FA Euro-New York Magic, Southwest Florida Adrenaline (Fort Myers) and Oklahoma City FC. Six clubs changed names for 2013: the New Jersey Rangers to the New Jersey LUSO Rangers; the Palmetto FC Bantams to the South Carolina Bantams; the IMG Bradenton Academics to the IMG Academy Bradenton; the Hamilton Rage FC to the K-W United FC; the Texas Dutch Lions to the Houston Dutch Lions; and the, Pali Blues to the OC Blues Strikers FC. The 2013 season runs from early May to July 21.
Pacific Coast Soccer League: The British Columbia-based PCSL has started the 2013 seasons for both its men's and women's leagues. The men's PCSL has an eight-team Premier Division and an eight-team Reserve Division, while the women's PCSL has a nine-team Premier Division and a nine-team Reserve Division. After playing its first season in the league in 2012, the Langley Athletic FC announced it will not participate in the men's PCSL Premier Division for 2013 due to renovations underway on its field. The PCSL has only one U.S.-based team called the Bellingham (WA) United FC Hammers in the men's Premier Division.
Major League Soccer: The owner of the Manchester City club in the English Premier League is reportedly interested in purchasing the proposed New York City MLS expansion franchise to be located in the Flushing Meadows area of Queens. The league is backing plans for a new 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Queens, but some local opposition is expected. The MLS wants the new team to start play in 2016 and become a rival for its current New York Red Bulls team based in Harrison (NJ). One possible name for the new team is the New York City Football Club.
National League Lacrosse: The Edmonton Rush of the indoor NLL were approached by a group in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) about possibly moving the team to that city. The owner of the Rush stated the team is committed to the city of Edmonton.
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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