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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
bj-league expansion heats up
The Japan Times
The bj-league has received applications from seven teams seeking to become expansion teams for the 2008-09 season before the league's June 29 deadline. The seven teams are from the prefectures of Akita, Nagano, Shiga, Hyogo and Shimane, as well as Shizuoka Prefecture's Hamamatsu and one unidentified club. According to the league, about 20 teams have expressed interested in becoming new franchises. The league, which tips off the 2007-08 season with 10 clubs, including two new teams — the Rizing Fukuoka and Ryukyu Golden Kings — had originally planned to expand to 12 teams for the 2010-11 campaign, but would like to consider moving up the plan by one year to welcome as many of these newcomers as possible. The league will announce the '08-'09 season expansion clubs by the end of August after close examination of the teams' potential fan bases and financial resources.