Weekly Sports League and Franchise Update
by Dan Krieger
November 12, 2007 - American Basketball Association (ABA)
- Can-Am League: The Can-Am League is still trying to place a team in Ottawa next season and has proposed a sub-lease at Lynx Stadium, while the city works out its problems with the departing Ottawa Lynx of the International League. The Can-Am League has already announced its 2008 schedule, but an Ottawa team could most likely replace the Grays travel team.
- Frontier League: The town of Avon (OH), just west of Cleveland, has approved a city tax to fund a recreation complex that will include a ballpark. The town had been in discussions with the Frontier League about a possible franchise.
- American Association: The town of Brighton in the Denver area voted down a local sales tax increase that would have been used to build a 4,000-seat ballpark for an American Association franchise. The American Association was also working on proposed ballparks in other Denver area cities like Castle Rock and Commerce City. The league's new Wichita franchise announced its nickname will be the Wichita Wingnuts.
- American Basketball Association: The Peoria Kings franchise will not participate in the 2007-08 ABA season due to ownership problems. The proposed Pacific Rim Rockers, originally the Hawaii Hurricanes under different ownership, will not start the 2007-08 season on time due to a lack of funding. The ABA standings had 35 teams listed at the start of the season and a total of 18 teams were new for the 2007-08 season-West Texas Whirlwinds, Los Angeles Push, Orange County Gladiators, Long Beach Breakers, Ciccero Cometas USA, Chicago Throwbacks, Rochester Fire, South Chi-Land Infernos, San Francisco Rumble, Halifax Rainmen, Corning Bulldogs, First State Fusion, Syracuse Raging Bullz, Boston Blizzard, Westchester Phantoms, Manchester Millrats, Georgia Gwizzlies and Bahama Pro Show. Teams called the Norfolk Navigators, Kentucky Retros, Arkansas Fantastics and Las Vegas PROLYMS were at one time announced for the 2007-08 season, but were no longer listed by the league. Several other proposed 2007-08 teams, along with several non-returning 2006-07 teams, are now listed as possible 2008-09 teams. The ABA recently announced a new franchise will be added in Hamilton (Ontario) for the 2008-09 season.
- National Basketball Association Development League: The NBADL is getting ready to start its 2007-08 season with 14 teams, up from 12 teams in the last season. The Arkansas RimRockers and Fort Worth Flyers will not return, but the league has added new teams called the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Iowa Energy, Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Utah Flash.
- United Basketball League: The UBL's team listing no longer includes the Springfield-based Missouri Thrill. Another Missouri team called the North Missouri Hawks is listed and is based in Tarkio in the northwest corner of the state. The UBL plans to start play in April 2008.
- Texas Professional Basketball League: The TPBL has announced the Lake Jackson (TX) Lakers and the El Paso Gallos franchises for the upcoming 2008 season.
- Texas Basketball League: The semi-pro TBL may attempt to form a league based in North Carolina for the summer of 2008.
- Southeastern Exposure Basketball League: The semi-pro SEBL has announced new teams called the Orangeburg (SC) Krazy Kats and Daytona Beach Blue Wave. The SEBL plans to add a Northeast Division based in Orangeburg for its 2008 summer pro league and hopes to add another division based in Jacksonville (FL). During the winter months, many SEBL-affiliated teams play independent exhibition schedules against other SEBL member teams and various military and college teams.
- Continental Indoor Football League: The CIFL announced a new franchise called the Saginaw Sting has been added for the upcoming 2008 season. The group that owns the CIFL's Kalamazoo Xplosion also owns the Saginaw franchise. The Saginaw Sting will market to the Tri-Cities area, which includes Saginaw, Midland and Bay City. A new ownership group wants to place a CIFL franchise in Flint for the 2008 season. The defunct Port Huron Pirates franchise held a 2007 playoff game in Flint under the Michigan Pirates nickname and considered relocating to Flint.
- American Indoor Football Association: The Augusta Spartans franchise, which joined the AIFA from the now-defunct World Indoor Football League, has been renamed the Augusta Colts. The AIFA plans to have 16 teams playing in four divisions in the 2008 season. The Eastern Conference North will feature the Baltimore Mariners, Canton Legends, Pittsburgh Riverrats and Reading Express. The Eastern Conference East will include the Carolina Speed, Fayetteville Guard, Florence Phantoms and Huntington Heroes. The Western Conference South will include the Augusta Colts, Columbus Lions, Florida Stingrays and Mississippi MudCats. The Western Conference West will include the Wyoming Cavalry, the new Prescott (AZ) franchise and two yet-to-be-named teams.
- National Indoor Football League: The NIFL has a new team called the Fort Lauderdale Tasers listed on its web site.
- American Hockey League: A new arena in the Cedar Park area of Austin (TX) is supposed to become home to a proposed AHL team called the Texas Stars, an affiliate of the Dallas Stars. The team could start play in the new arena by 2010. The Stars' current AHL affiliate, the Iowa Stars, is based in Des Moines. Austin has a current Central Hockey League franchise called the Austin IceBats.
- Central Hockey League: The owner of the CHL's Youngstown SteelHounds is considering a switch to the ECHL, possibly as early as next season. Youngstown is the only eastern team in the league and faces extra time and costs for travel throughout the season.
- North Eastern Hockey League: After previously announcing the team would not play this season, the Findlay (OH) Freedom is back as part of the NEHL's 2007-08 season. The league's Pittsburgh Prowl is no longer listed in the four-team lineup. The other teams are the Norfolk (Ontario) IceCats, Copper City Chiefs (Rome, NY) and the Detroit-based Kensington Valley Pounders.
- Professional Inline Hockey Association: The PIHA's 42-team Pro Division has a new Southwest Division for its upcoming 2007-08 season with teams called the Arizona Strike, El Paso Black Diamonds, Phoenix Dragons and Tucson Desperados.
Note: OurSports Central no longer actively covers the American Basketball Association (ABA) as a professional league due in part to its inability to publish and play a schedule and the transitory nature of many of its teams. For information on professional minor leagues, please see OSC's basketball section.
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