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Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report

by Dan Krieger
November 18, 2019 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)

BASEBALL

Pacific Coast League: The Triple-A PCL's new Wichita-based team, which is the league's relocated New Orleans Baby Cakes team, announced it will be called the Wichita Wind Surge when it starts play in 2020 at a new stadium under construction. The city had a Triple-A team in the former American Association called the Wichita Aeros from 1970 through 1984; a Double-A Texas League team called the Wichita Wranglers from 1987 through 2007; and an independent American Association team called the Wichita Wingnuts from 2008 through 2018.

Minor League Baseball (MiLB): The MiLB, whose leagues and teams are affiliated with Major League Baseball, announced its Copa de la Diversión (Fun Cup) tribute to Hispanic and Latinx communities across the country will return for a third season in 2020. The number of participating teams will increase from 72 to 92 in 2020, with each team adopting Hispanic-themed logos and nicknames for select regular-season games.

Northwoods League: The group trying to build a ballpark in the western Milwaukee suburbs for a team in the summer-collegiate Northwoods League has moved plans from Summit to nearby Oconomowoc.

MINK League: The summer-collegiate MINK League will grow from eight to nine teams for the 2020 season. The Ozark Generals will not return, but the league is adding a new team called the Des Moines Prospects and a yet-to-be-named team in Chanute (KS).

BASKETBALL

Women's American Basketball Association: The WABA recently completed its 2019 season with 16 teams and currently lists four 2020 expansion teams called the Houston Red Storm, San Diego Sprint, Oklahoma Tatanka (Muskogee) and Milwaukee Lady Cavaliers.

East Coast Basketball League: The semi-pro ECBL has posted the alignment for 19 teams that will be part of its sixth season in the spring of 2020. The ECBL had 16 teams last season, but the East Carolina Cardinals (Greenville, NC) did not return and the league added four teams called the High Point (NC) Lycans, Carolina ShowTime (Orangeburg, SC), Georgia Fire (Atlanta) and a 2019 travel-only team called the Gastonia (NC) Snipers. A Northern Conference has a four-team Northeast and a five-team Northwest division, while a Southern Conference has five-team Southeast and Southwest divisions.

FOOTBALL

Major League Football: The proposed springtime professional MLF, which has been trying to get of the ground since 2016, announced it has completed the purchase of equipment from the failed Alliance of American Football and the league will start play in the spring of 2020 with six teams.

Champions Indoor Football: The CIF announced West Texas Warriors, West Texas Law, West Texas Warbirds, West Texas Outlawz and West Texas Thunder as the five nickname choices for voting to name its 2020 Odessa-based expansion team.

National Arena League: The NAL was considering a new team called the Atlanta Jaguars for expansion in the 2020 season, but that deal has apparently fallen through.

American West Football Conference: The indoor AWFC, which completed its inaugural season in 2019 with four teams, announced an agreement with an ownership group to place a 2020 AWFC team in the San Francisco Bay Area. The league recently announced another 2020 expansion team called the Yakima (WA) Canines.

HOCKEY

National Women's Hockey League: The five-team professional NWHL received a new round of outside investment and the league hopes this could lead to adding an expansion team, possibly in Toronto.

National Collegiate Development Conference: The independent United States Premier Hockey League's Tier-II junior-level NCDC announced the Philadelphia Hockey Club has purchased the NCDC's Boston Bandits team and it will relocate to an arena in Sewell (NJ) for the 2020-21 season. The NCDC is operating with 13 teams this season in the Northeast part of the United States. The Boston Bandits organization has been around since 1996 and will still have teams at different levels. The Boston Bandits Tier-II team started play in the NCDC's inaugural 2017-18 season.

SOCCER

National Premier Soccer League: The men's elite amateur-level NPSL announced a new six-team Gulf Coast Conference has been added to the league's South Region for the 2020 season. The conference will include the Jacksonville Armada FC U-23 team from the 2019 NPSL Sunshine Conference and the New Orleans Jesters team that sat out the 2019 season, along with four new teams called the Tallahassee FC Battle Lions, AFC Mobile, Pensacola FC and Port City FC (Gulfport, MS). The NPSL recently announced some other expansion teams for 2020 called the Carpathia FC (Sterling Heights, MI), the First State FC Midnight Riders (Wilmington, DE) and Maryland Bobcats FC (Baltimore), which was a rebranding of a club known as the World Class Premier Elite. In addition, the league's Riverside (CA) Coras have entered into an affiliation with the Club Xolos de Tijuana of Mexico's top Liga MX and will rebrand as the Club Xolos USA U-23 for the 2020 season.

National Women's Soccer League: The NWSL's new Louisville expansion team, which will start play in 2021, has filed a trademark registration for Proof Louisville FC as the team nickname chosen from about 100 names. The term comes from the area's popular bourbon industry and implies strength and resiliency. With Sacramento being awarded a men's Major League Soccer franchise, there is the possibility of an NWSL expansion team coming to the city with speculation the Sacramento-based California Storm of the second-level Women's Premier Soccer League could move up to the NWSL. The Storm has been around since 1995 and a member of the WPSL since the 1998 season.

Major League Soccer: The 2020 MLS expansion team called Inter Miami CF plans to play its first two seasons at a new 18,000-seat stadium under construction in Fort Lauderdale. Inter Miami has run into delays trying to lease the site for its proposed new permanent home stadium on a former golf course near the Miami airport, so the team might end up playing in Fort Lauderdale longer than expected. The Fort Lauderdale facility will serve as Inter Miami's training facility and home to a Division-III USL League One team.

USL League Two (United Soccer League): The Philadelphia Lone Star FC of the amateur-level National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) announced a move to the pre-professional USL League Two for the 2020 season. The team joined the NPSL as the Junior Lone Star in 2012 and changed to the Philadelphia Lone Star for the 2019 season.

USL Championship (United Soccer League): A new team called the Queensboro FC, based in Queens (NY), will start play in the 2021 season of the Division-II USL Championship league. The team will play home games at York College in Queens.

OTHER

National Pro Fastpitch: The women's softball league known as the NPF announced it has added a new Los Angeles-based team call the California Softball Commotion, or California Commotion, for the 2020 season. The team will not actually have a home field in 2020 but will represent the entire state. The NPF's new format starting in 2020 will consist of a series-event model featuring multiple teams competing in an event at one location. At least two 2020 events are planned—one in California to be hosted by the Commotion and another in Wisconsin. The last NPF team in California was the California Sunbirds based out of Sacramento and Stockton for the 2004 and 2005 seasons. In the 1990s, an amateur team called the California Commotion played in the Women's Major Division of the former Amateur Softball Association.

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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Pacific Coast League Stories from November 18, 2019


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