Twelve teams will take part in the AA’s eleventh season, and for the first time since 2011, no interleague games against clubs from the Can-Am League will take place.
The Grand Prairie AirHogs and Amarillo Thunderheads, separate league members, will operate as one entity in 2016. The team will play 25 home games at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, and 25 at Potter County Memorial Stadium in Amarillo, Texas. All 11 other league members will return in their same markets.
“With 13 clubs and no interleague play, a schedule with an odd number of teams became unbalanced and difficult,” Wolff said. “We appreciate that Southern Independent Baseball, owner of the Amarillo and Grand Prairie clubs, agreed to the league’s request to operate its two teams as one in 2016. We fully expect that both teams will return in 2017 as individual entities with a full schedule in their respective markets.”
Aside from the creation of the Texas team, league divisions will otherwise remain the same as in 2015. The three division winners and one wild-card club will advance to the postseason. As in previous seasons, both the semifinals and finals will be best-of-five series.
North Division:Fargo-Moorhead (N.D.-Minn.) RedHawks, St. Paul (Minn.) Saints, Sioux Falls (S.D.) Canaries, Winnipeg (Manitoba) Goldeyes.
Central Division:Gary (Ind.) SouthShore RailCats, Kansas City (Kan.) T-Bones, Lincoln (Neb.) Saltdogs, Sioux City (Iowa) Explorers.
South Division:Joplin (Mo.) Blasters, Laredo (Texas) Lemurs, Texas (nickname TBA – Amarillo/Grand Prairie), Wichita (Kan.) Wingnuts.
After a one-year hiatus, the American Association All-Star Game will return on August 2, 2016, taking place at St. Paul’s CHS Field. In 2015, their first year at CHS Field, the Saints shattered the league attendance record with 404,528 spectators, an average of 8,091 per game.