Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
August 15, 2022 - Midwest League (MWL)
Midwest League: Minor League Baseball sponsored a "Field of Dreams" game this week between two High-A Midwest League teams at the Field of Dreams stadium located in Dyersville (IA). The league's Iowa-based Quad Cities River Bandits (Davenport) played as the Davenport Blue Sox and the Cedar Rapids (IA) Kernels played as the Cedar Rapids Bunnies in a tribute to former minor league teams in their respective homes.
Pecos League: The independent Pecos League, which operated with an eight-team Pacific Division and an eight-team Mountain Division this season, announced its only non-California team in the current Pacific Division will be moving back to the Mountain Division next season. It is uncertain which teams will be added to or subtracted from the divisions to initiate this move.
Atlantic League: The head of the independent Atlantic League confirmed a new Hagerstown (MD) expansion team will not start play until at least the 2024 season due to delays in the start of construction for a new downtown ballpark.
Florida Basketball Association: The semi-pro FBA announced the addition of a new Miami-based team for the 2023 season. The team's British ownership belongs to The Fans Together (TFT), a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) that gives fans an ownership stake and decision-making capabilities for the team. The FBA recently completed its 2022 season with seven participating teams.
National Basketball Association Gatorade League (G-League): The NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder stated its owned and operated G-League affiliate called the Oklahoma City Blue will play its 2022-23 home schedule at the Paycom Center, which is home to the Thunder. The NBA wants the Thunder to find a separate market for its affiliate by next season. Of the 30 NBA teams, only the Portland Trail Blazers and the Phoenix Suns do not have affiliates in the G-League. The G-League also has an non-affiliated 29th team called the Mexico City Capitanes.
Evolution Basketball Association: The Texas-based EBA started its 2022 season this weekend with seven teams aligned in a four-team South Division and a three-team North Division.
National Arena League: The NAL announced the Odessa-based West Texas Warbirds team has been added as a 2023 expansion team. The West Texas Warbirds were an expansion team announced for the 2020 season in the Champions Indoor Football (CIF) league, but that season was cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The team decided to sit out the CIF's 2021 season and was part of a 2021 Lone Star Series with other Texas-based teams. The West Texas Warbirds left the CIF and became a member of the Arena Football Association for that league's inaugural 2022 season.
Champions Indoor Football: An indoor football team called the Golden State Hustlers (Poway, CA), based in the San Diego area, is trying to organize for the 2023 season. The team stated it has ruled out joining the CIF because the league has no current plans for West Coast expansion.
Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League: The Tier-III CPJHL has not played for the past two seasons (2020-22) due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and it looks like the league is dead according to The Junior Hockey News. The league was down to only four teams (three in Quebec and one in Ontario) prior to the cancelled 2020-21 season. The three Quebec teams tried to organize the Ligue de Hockey Junior du Nord du Quebec (LHJNQ), or the Northern Quebec Junior Hockey League, with two Quebec-based teams from the Greater Metro Junior-A Hockey League (GMHL) for the 2020-21 season, but it failed to get off the ground. The two GMHL teams went back to the GMHL for the 2021-22 season while the CPJHL teams sat idle. The CPJHL's Buffalo Ferme-Nueve team recently announced it will be part of the LHJNQ for the 2022-23 season, as that league tries to start up again and also lists the Gladiateurs de Barrante (Quebec) as a second member. The other remaining CPJHL teams and the league itself have been inactive.
Ligue Nord Americaine de Hockey: The Quebec-based minor professional LNAH, or North American Hockey League, will have all six teams from last season returning in the 2022-23 season. The league also announced the addition of a seventh team called the Bâtisseurs de Montcalm for the 2022-23 season.
Premier Hockey Federation: The PHF's expansion team in Montreal has started signing players as it plans to start play as the league's seventh team in the 2022-23 season. The Montreal team plans to announce its name and logo in the near future. The PHF also announced the Minnesota Whitecaps will be moving from St. Paul to suburban Richfield (MN) for the 2022-23 season.
USL Championship (United Soccer League): Since groundbreaking on a new Pawtucket (RI) soccer stadium just took place this week, the Division-II professional USL Championship announced the start of the league's new Pawtucket expansion team has been pushed back to the 2024 season. The team's name will be announced in the coming months.
USL W-League (United Soccer League): The pre-professional USL W-League announced the league's first California-based team in Stockton will be called the Stockton Cargo SC when it starts play in the league's second season in 2023. Currently, the W-League has one other California-based team called the Oakland Soul that was announced in May.
Professional Bowlers Association - League: The PBA League held its 2022 season last month during a six-day event in Portland (ME) featuring ten five-player teams. The teams were aligned in a five-team Anthony Division with the Portland Lumberjacks, Los Angeles X (LAX), New York City KingPins, Detroit Motown Muscle and Milwaukee Pounders, and a five-team Carter Division with the Dallas Strikers, Chicago Hitmen, Las Vegas High Rollers, Silver Lake Atom Splitters and Waco Wonders.
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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