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 Pacific Coast League

Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report

by Dan Krieger
April 1, 2024 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)


BASEBALL

Minor League Baseball: As part of a promotion with Oatly, which produces oak milk and is based in Malmö (Sweden), each of the 120 teams of Minor League Baseball will wear Oatly-themed uniforms for one home game during the 2024 season and teams will be called the Malmö Oat Milkers for these games.

International League: The Triple-A International League started its 2024 season this week with the same 20 teams and Major League Baseball affiliations as last season. The league is again aligned into ten-team East and West divisions.

Northwoods League: As part of a "Home Alone Night" on July 6, 2024, the Kenosha (WI) Kingfish of the High-A Midwest League will be renamed the Kenosha Kickers after the fictional polka band featured in the "Home Alone" movie.

Northern League: The Lake County Corn Dogs (Crown Point, IN) of the independent developmental Northern League, which played in 2023 with six teams based in the Chicago/Northern Indiana area, stated the team will not be part of the league's 2024 season but will be playing an independent schedule.

Pacific Coast League: The Triple-A PCL started its 2024 season this week with ten teams again aligned in five-team East and West divisions. One change from last season was the Oklahoma City Dodgers being renamed the Oklahoma City Baseball Club as the team plans to rebrand for the 2025 season. The team remains an affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers and will announce its new name prior to the 2025 season.

Southern League: To recognize Chattanooga as the birthplace of the wrecker and to honor the towing industry, the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Double-A Southern League will play six games during the 2024 season as the Chattanooga Wreckers.

South Atlantic League: The Asheville (NC) Tourists of the High-A SAL will again play a game in the 2024 season under their alternate identity the Asheville Hippies. The league's Winston-Salem Dash, which rebranded as the Hyphens for a game last season, will add a chicken-related twist to that name and be called the Winston-Salem Hype Hens for a Salute to Winston-Salem Night on May 10, 2024.

BASKETBALL

Athletes Unlimited - Basketball League: The women's Athletes Unlimited recently completed the four-week (February 29 through March 23) 2024 season of its professional basketball league that featured four teams playing all games at the Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas. Each week, players are scored through individual and team statistics and the top four performers become captains and select teams for the following week with one player selected as champion for the season.

Women's American Basketball Association: The semi-pro WABA announced the OnPoint Swish (Inez, KY) has been added as a 2024 expansion team.

V-League: The V-League semi-pro men's basketball league, formerly known as the Triple Threat Basketball League, recently finished its 2023-24 season that featured a six-team South Division with teams in Georgia and Virginia, and a six-team North Division with teams in Pennsylvania, Washington (DC) and Maryland.

FOOTBALL

American Indoor Football: The AIF has removed the Batesville-based Mississippi Raiders team from the 2024 schedule after it was forced to cancel the team's first home game due to unsafe field conditions. The AIF has revised the rest of the 2024 schedule for the remaining five teams.

United Football League: The new eight-team UFL, which was formed from the merger of the former United States Football League and the former XFL, started its inaugural 2024 season that will feature each team playing ten games from through June 2, 2024. A four-team USFL Conference will include the Birmingham Stallions, Memphis Showboats, Michigan Panthers, and Houston Roughnecks, formerly the Houston Gamblers, from the USFL. A four-team XFL Conference will include the Arlington Renegades, D.C. Defenders, San Antonio Brahmas and St. Louis Battlehawks from the XFL. Since both leagues had teams in Houston, the USFL's Houston Gamblers moved to the UFL and took the name of the XFL's former Houston Roughnecks team. Not included in the merger from the 2023 USFL were the Pittsburgh Maulers, Philadelphia Stars, New Jersey Generals and New Orleans Breakers. Not included in the merger from the 2023 XFL were Houston, the Seattle Sea Dragons, Vegas Vipers and Orlando Guardians.

HOCKEY

American Hockey League: The AHL's Syracuse Crunch played a game this weekend as the Syracuse Canal Mules to honor the name of a former local hockey team from the early 1920s and as a tribute to the mules that were used to pull barges on a former Syracuse portion of the Erie Canal.

ECHL: The ECHL plans to decide the future of the league's Newfoundland Growlers (St. John's) and Trois-Rivieres Lions (Quebec) teams next week. Both teams are majority-owned by Deacon Sports and Entertainment, which is nearing bankruptcy and owes the city of Trois-Rivieres for arena rent. The league has set a deadline for ownership to sell the clubs by April 2 or the ECHL could take control of the teams.

Federal Prospects Hockey League: The lower-level professional FPHL announced the addition of a franchise to be based out of a new arena in Athens (GA) starting with the 2024-25 season. The team will be named after fan voting on four potential names-The Athenians, Athens Owls, Rock Lobsters and Classic City Panic.

Professional Women's Hockey League: The PWHL has moved the New York team's remaining regular- season game scheduled to be played in Bridgeport (CT) to the UBS Center on Long Island. The team was splitting 2024 home games between Bridgeport and Long Island but games in Bridgeport were drawing poorly. Of the team's four remaining games, two games will be played on Long Island and two games previously listed as "TBA" will now be played at the Prudential Center in Newark (NJ).

SOCCER

USL Championship (United Soccer League): A group called Buffalo Pro Soccer has entered into an agreement with the USL to bring a Buffalo-based team to the Division-II professional USL Championship league by the 2026 season. Another group has entered into a nine-month negotiating period with the USL to develop a new soccer stadium in the northern Atlanta suburb of Roswell (GA) for a proposed men's team in the USL Championship and a proposed women's team in the new Division-I USL Super League.

USL League Two (United Soccer League): The Birmingham Legion FC of the Division-II professional USL Championship announced it will start a developmental team called the Birmingham Legion FC 2 in the pre-professional USL League Two for the 2024 season. After two seasons in Illinois, the Springfield ASC (Athletic Sporting Club) Monarchs team is moving to Staten Island (NY) for the 2024 season where it will become the Staten Island ASC Monarchs.

Canadian Soccer League: Canada's Division-3 semi-pro CSL, which has teams based in Southern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area, recently announced the addition of expansion teams called the Spanish Future Stars FC and Unity FC for the upcoming 2024 season.

League1 BC (British Columbia): Canada's Division-3 pro-am League1 BC recently announced Burnaby FC has been added as the eighth team for the 2024 season and replaces the Vancouver-based Nautsa'mawt FC team that dropped out after the 2023 season. The league will again have eight teams in both a men's and a women's division with each team playing a 14-game schedule from late April through July 2024.

OTHER

Ultimate Frisbee Association: The men's semi-pro ultimate frisbee league called the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) recently announced the league has been rebranded as the Ultimate Frisbee Association (UFA). The AUDL, which has been around since the 2012 season, entered into a partnership with the owner of the Wham-O and Frisbee trademarks and now has the official license to use the word Frisbee in its name and marketing. The UFA's 2024 season will start on April 26 with 24 teams across the United States and Canada and aligned in a five-team South, a six-team East, a six-team Central and a seven-team West.

Dan Krieger is the creator of the Weekly Sports League & Franchise Report, which has been tracking the changes in the sports world's leagues, teams, and nicknames since April 2007.


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Pacific Coast League Stories from April 1, 2024


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