SIOUX CITY, IA – The American Association announced that the league will move to a two-division format for the 2018 season from its previous three-division setup. The new division format will split the 12 team league into the North Division and the South Division. The Sioux City Explorers will play in the league’s South Division, along with the Lincoln Saltdogs (NE), Kansas City T-Bones (MO), Wichita Wingnuts (KS), Texas AirHogs TX), and the Cleburne Railroaders (TX). The North Division features the Sioux Falls Canaries (SD), St. Paul Saints (MN), Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (ND), Gary SouthShore Railcats (IN), Winnipeg Goldeyes (MB), and the leagues newest member, the Chicago Dogs (IL).
The American Association will still feature a 100 game regular season schedule. The top two teams from each division will meet in the best-of-5 semifinals, with the winners playing in the best-of-5 championship series. The new two-division format will provide the opportunity for a more balanced schedule. The complete 2018 American Association schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Chicago Dogs will replace the Salina Stockade, who joined the American Association last season after the Laredo Lemurs withdrew from the league prior to the 2017 season. The Dogs will play their home games in a brand new $60 million, 6,300 seat new stadium that is currently under construction in Rosemont, IL, located just northwest of Chicago. The ballpark will be named Impact Field following a 12-year naming rights partnership with Impact Networking.