Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
August 26, 2019 - National Basketball League of Canada (NBL Canada)
American Association: The Kansas City (KS) T-Bones of the independent American Association have fallen behind on lease payments and have evicted from their stadium with a September 13 deadline for removing all property. The team's current season ends September 2. The T-Bones' ownership has been trying to sell the team and keep it in its current location, but stated a sale would not be completed or announced during the current season. The league's Sioux Falls (SD) Canaries might have future stadium issues after a local study recommended the eventual demolition of the team's home at the aging Sioux Falls Stadium.
Major League Baseball: As the Los Angeles Angels enter discussions with the city of Anaheim about either a new or renovate stadium, the team will not consider returning to the Anaheim Angels name. In 2005, the Anaheim Angels changed to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the city of Anaheim lost a lawsuit to stop the name change. Over time the team has been referred to as the Los Angeles Angels.
Western Major Baseball League: The Edmonton Prospects are part of the Western Major Baseball League, not the Western Canada Baseball League as reported last week.
American Basketball Association: The semi-pro ABA announced a Palm Beach County (FL) team called the Belle Glade Stampede has been added for the upcoming 2019-20 season. Another new team called the East Chicago Cowboys will join the league in 2020.
National Basketball League of Canada: After announcing plans last month to suspend operations for the 2019-20 season due to attendance and financial concerns, the Cape Breton Highlanders (Sydney, Nova Scotia) of the NBL-Canada were letting local fans decide the fate of the team. The team would remain in the league for this upcoming season if 1,500 season tickets were sold by Sunday, August 25. The team sold only 652 season tickets, so its status is unclear. The owner of the Sydney-based Cape Breton Eagles hockey team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and also owner of the NBL-Canada's St. John's Edge (Newfoundland/Labrador), had no immediate plans to get involved with the Highlanders team.
Maximum Basketball League: The spring-summer Midwest Basketball League announced it is now the Maximum Basketball League as the league plans expansion into other regions. A new Southeast Division has been formed for 2020 with the Atlanta Lightning announced as the first team in the division. The MBL also announced the Detroit-based Nationwide Hoops club has joined for the 2020 season. The Midwest Basketball League played its first season in 2016.
Mid-South Basketball Association: Four of the participating teams from the MSBA's inaugural spring season will join four other teams to be part of an MSBA fall season starting next weekend. The league hopes to continue playing both a spring season and a fall season in the future with teams playing either or both seasons. The four teams from the 2019 MSBA spring season are the St. Louis Trotters, Kentucky Flash (Louisville), Tennessee Sting (Madison) and a non-league travel-only Cincinnati Movement team that played four games against MSBA teams during the 2019 spring season. The four new teams added for the 2019 fall season are the Dayton AirStrikers, Henderson (KY) Hornets, Memphis Blues and the Kentucky Enforcers (Crestview Hills), which were part of the 2019 spring-season North American Basketball League.
XFL: The new outdoor professional football league known as the XFL announced the names for its eight teams that will start play in February 2020. An Eastern Conference will feature the DC Defenders (Washington, DC), New York Guardians, St. Louis BattleHawks and Tampa Bay Vipers, while a Western Conference will have the Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats and Seattle Dragons. The XFL also plans to operate a Dallas-based practice squad, internally referred to as "Team 9," that would be used to supplement players for the eight active teams during injury situations.
Indoor Football League: The IFL officially announced the Albuquerque-based Duke City Gladiators have joined the league for the 2020 season. The Gladiators played the past five seasons (2015 through 2019) as part of Champions Indoor Football. The IFL just completed its 2019 season with ten teams, while the CIF completed its 2019 season with seven teams. The IFL stated additional expansion team announcements will be made in the next few weeks.
United Arena League: The Peach State Cats (Athens, GA) indoor football team, which was part of the 2019 American Arena League, is forming the new UAL for a start in March 2020. As of now, other members include the Georgia-Lina Lions (Augusta, GA) from the 2019 Elite Indoor Football and an Atlanta Pirates travel-only team.
American Hockey League: The proposed new AHL team to be affiliated with the National Hockey League's Seattle expansion team, has registered Falcons, Sun, Dragons, Firebirds, Hawks and Eagles as potential names for a team that could be based in a new 10,000-seat arena in Palm Springs (CA). The new AHL team would like to start play when the NHL's Seattle team does in the 2021-22 season. Developers for a proposed 7,500-seat arena in Suffolk County (NY) on Long Island have received a three-month extension to submit plans for the Ronkonkoma arena that is hoped to become home to a future AHL team.
Greater Metro Junior-A Hockey League: Canada's independent GMHL has posted the team alignment for the upcoming 2019-20 season that features an 11-team North Division with 9 Ontario-based teams and 2 Quebec-based teams, and a 10-team South Division with all Ontario-based teams. The league also announced the 2019-20 schedule for its new four-team West Division with teams from the Western Provinces Hockey Association (WPHA), which operated four teams (Cold Lake Wings, Edson Aeros, Hinton Wildcats and Meadow Lake Mustangs) last season as a Provincial Division of the U.S.-based Western States Hockey League (WSHL). With the move of the WPHA to the GMHL for the 2019-20 season, the Edson Aeros (Alberta) and Meadow Lake Mustangs (Saskatchewan) stayed with the WSHL and the WSHL started new teams in the Alberta markets of Hinton (Timberwolves) and Cold Lake (Hornets) for 2019-20. The GMHL West Division kept the Cold Lake Wings, which will share the market with the WSHL's new Cold Lake Hornets, plus added three new teams called the Enoch Tomahawks (Alberta), Slave Lake Icedogs (Alberta) and the Rosetown Red Wings (Saskatchewan).
Major League Soccer: The MLS officially announced St. Louis will be the location of the league's 28th team and it is targeted to start play in the 2022 season. The MLS has 24 teams playing this season with Nashville and Miami to start play in 2020 and Austin in 2021. The league previously announced plans to expand to 30 teams, so an additional two expansion slots will be available. Sacramento appears to be the frontrunner for the 29th spot with Las Vegas, Charlotte, Phoenix, Indianapolis and Raleigh (NC) also working toward an MLS team. With several other cities and ownership groups interested in an MLS expansion franchise, there is speculation the league could consider growing to 32 teams in the future.
Women's World League: The president of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), which is the international governing body for soccer (association football), is still interested in launching a new global soccer league known as the Women's World League. There was an original announcement about the concept two years ago with plans for an annual competition featuring 16 of the top national teams, plus four regional leagues and a system of promotion and relegation.
Premier Arena Soccer League: The amateur-level PASL plans to relaunch its women's division for the 2019-20 season. The league will be divided into as many as eight regions from around the United States depending on how many teams register. The PASL announced the first grouping of women's teams in a Great Lakes Region. Five teams called the Cincinnati Sirens, Chicago Mustangs, Great Lakes Wanderers, Youngstown Nighthawks, and Brew City Legends have committed to the 2019-20 season. The PASL announced an affiliation with the Chicago Women Premier League, which will have at least three other teams called the Cicero Jaguars, Midwest Panthers and a Chicago Women Premier Academy team in the Great Lakes Region.
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 publication is available for sale at www.amazon.com.
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