Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
April 20, 2020 - Indoor Football League (IFL)
Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB): Mexico's top-level Triple-A LMB, or Mexican Baseball League, has again delayed the start of its 2020 season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The original start of April 6 had been pushed back to May 11 and now that has been pushed back to an undetermined date.
Liga Mexicana del Pacifico (LMP): In a dispute with the Mazatlan Venados of Mexico's fall-season LMP, or Mexican Pacific League, the city of Mazatlan has evicted the team from the local stadium due to breaches of the lease agreement between the team and the city.
Major League Baseball: The group trying to bring an MLB team called the Nashville Stars to the city has entered into a partnership agreement with the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City for the team to use this name, which was also the name of the city's Negro League team in the 1940s.
Minor League Baseball (MiLB): Negotiations with the MiLB and Major League Baseball over the reorganization of MiLB for the 2021 season will resume next week. MLB is still demanding reduction of the current 160-team structure to a 120-team structure with all Rookie-level and short-season leagues being eliminated. Each of the 30 MLB teams would have one team each at the Triple-A, Double-A, high Class-A and low Class-A levels. Some current teams at these four levels could be reclassified and some teams in the Rookie-level and short-season leagues would move to the Low-A level, which could add one or two more geographically aligned leagues.
Pecos League: The independent Pecos League has reduced its 2020 season schedule from 64 to 48 games per team with a new proposed start date of July 1, if deemed safe by local officials, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The 2020 season was set to start May 27 with 14 teams, but the league now lists 12 teams with the removal of the White Sands Pupfish (Alamogordo, NM) and the Ruidoso (NM) Osos from the Mountain Division.
Northwoods League: The 22-team summer-collegiate Northwoods League announced it will not start its 2020 season on May 26 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. No future start date was mentioned as the league considers various scenarios for playing in 2020.
Canadian Elite Basketball League: The seven-team spring-summer CEBL announced it has postponed the start of its 2020 season from May 7 until sometime in June due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The CEBL played its inaugural 2019 season with six teams and added the expansion Ottawa BlackJacks as a seventh team for the 2020 season.
Maximum Basketball League: The springtime semi-pro MBL, formerly the Midwest Basketball League, has decided to cancel its entire 2020 season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The 2020 season listed 45 teams in 8 regional divisions and was supposed to run from April 4 through May 31. The MBL says it will return with a new fall season starting in early October 2020.
American Basketball Association: The semi-pro ABA announced the Oxnard (CA) Orcas have been added as 2020-21 expansion team.
Indoor Football League: The 13-team IFL was the first of the top spring-summer indoor football leagues to announce the cancellation of its 2020 season this week due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The IFL played only two games of its 2020 season in the first week of March when it suspended play on March 12. The league is making plans for 2021 and will increase each team's schedule from 14 to 16 games. The IFL's Spokane Shock announced it wants to play some games in Spokane this year even with the season cancellation, if the state reduces restrictions.
XFL: The parent company of the eight-team XFL, whose teams played only 5 of 10 games in the league's inaugural springtime season before cancelling the remainder of the 2020 season last month due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and suspending all operations last week, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. There were reports indicating some investors might be interested in purchasing the XFL.
National Football League: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected construction of the new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles for the NFL's Rams and Chargers and the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for the relocated Oakland Raiders, so the league is looking at possible backup home venues for these teams if the stadiums will not be ready as planned for the 2020 season.
United States Women's Football League: The full-contact USWFL pushed back the start of its 2020 season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Original schedules posted for five of the league's seven teams ran from March 28 to June 6, 2020. New teams for 2020 included the River City Sting (Richmond, VA), Virginia Venom (Alexandria),Tri-City Vipers (Hampton Roads, VA) and the Fayetteville (NC) Ducks.
Women's National Football Conference: The full-contact WNFC has decided to cancel its 2020 season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The WNFC played its first season last year with 15 teams across the United States and had grown to 20 teams aligned in a nine-team Pacific Conference and an eleven-team Atlantic Conference for 2020. Teams were scheduled to play an eight-week season from April 4 to May 30, 2020. New teams for 2020 included the Oregon Ravens (Portland), Philadelphia Phantomz, Kansas City (KS) Glory, Mississippi Panthers (Jackson), Washington (DC) Prodigy, Carolina Queens (Charlotte), Florida Avengers (Jacksonville) and La Muerte de La Cruces (CA).
Women's Football Alliance: The full-contact WFA suspended its 2020 season indefinitely last month due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The 59-team league lists an 8-team Division 1, a 15-team Division 2 and a 36-team Division 3. The 2020 schedule was to run from April 4 to June 6, 2020. Several new teams joined the Division 3, such as the MIFA All Stars (Toronto area), Sun City Stealth (El Paso), Waco Madbears, Kansas City Saints, Memphis Sabercats, Capital Pioneers (Salem, OR), Gulf Coast Monarchy (Biloxi), Sacramento Sirens, New Orleans Hurricanes, Huntsville Tigers, Oklahoma City Force and the Louisiana Bayou Storm Surge (Baton Rouge).
Women's Tackle Football League: The effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic suspended the inaugural season of the new WTFL that was to run from April 11 to June 13, 2020. Most of the WTFL's 14 teams were part of other women's football leagues last season.
National Women's Hockey League: The five-team NWHL is reported to be considering an expansion team being added to the Toronto market for the 2020-21 season The NWHL had cancelled plans to add expansion teams in Toronto and Montreal prior to its 2019-20 season. Toronto and Montreal each had teams called the Toronto Furies and Montreal Les Canadiennes in the Canadian Women's Hockey League, which folded after the 2018-19 season. All five current NWHL teams are based in the United States.
USL Championship (United Soccer League): The USL announced an extended training moratorium for the Division-II USL Championship and the Division-III USL League One through May 3, 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The leagues could start play July with an extended season, along with the elimination of the annual U.S. Open Cup competition.
Major League Soccer: The MLS announced it is unlikely the league will restart its 2020 season on May 10 as originally planned due to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The MLS might have to condense the season from the planned 34-game schedules for each team and play games without fans. The MLS is also considering some sort of tournament-style format.
Liga Mexicana de Futbol Rapido Profesional: The men's LMFR, which is Mexico's top professional indoor soccer league, has had the start of its 2020 season delayed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The women's pro indoor soccer league known as the LMFR Femenil played its inaugural 2019-20 season from late November 2019 through February 2020 with 14 teams aligned in 3 regional divisions. The league played the final games of its playoffs last month without spectators due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
National Pro Fastpitch: The women's NPF announced the team called the Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, which is based in Marion and comprised of players from the Canadian National Team, will not be participating in the 2020 NPF season due to travel restrictions from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dan Krieger is the creator of the Weekly Sports League & Franchise Report, which has been tracking changes in the sports world's leagues, teams and nicknames since April 2007.
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Indoor Football League Stories from April 20, 2020
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
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