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No expansion on tap for American Association: Wolff

American AssociationThere are no plans for expansion in the independent American Association, reports commissioner Miles Wolff, as the league continues its focus on large markets and stable ownership groups.

Visiting Fargo’s Newman Outdoor Field, Wolff addressed the issue of western Canadian teams joining the indy circuit — not likely, given the remote nature of Edmonton and Calgary when compared to the current league footprint (which already goes from Winnipeg to Laredo), and the fact a Canadian league is reportedly being discussed.

“The geography is the real question there,” Wolff told the Fargo Forum. “Certainly it’s a good city and a good ballpark, but how do you make that geography work. You don’t want this to become an airplane league, which would kill a lot of franchises.”

While Edmonton and Calgary are unlikely additions to the league, Wolff does have a clear vision for the future of the American Association: focusing on markets of more than 200,000. If you look at the league lineup, there are very few areas of concern. Ownership certainly has been stable: this offseason saw just two teams change hands (the Sioux Falls Pheasants were sold and the Shreveport-Bossier Captains franchise basically moved to Laredo). Coming up, the future of the El Paso Diablos in the wake of a Triple-A Pacific Coast League team moving into the market in 2014 will be a concern

“I think by and large everybody is having a good year, a decent year,” Wolff said. “There are not threats of somebody not being able to meet payroll or anything like that. I think we are really pleased with this year.”


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