To better compete with U.S. soccer leagues boasting longer calendars, the National Premier Soccer League has announced an additional amateur season - comprising spring and fall - separate from the traditional summer season, which will continue.
FC Buffalo, a member of the NPSL since the club's founding in 2010, is under no obligation to participate in the new season, which would run March through April - pause for the summer - then continue late August through October, potentially into November. This spring/fall league would have a separate table from the summer.
The only stipulation is that if the Wolves play in the spring-fall league, then they must also partake in the NPSL's summer league. (Here's the league FAQ on the changes; there's no word on how many games would be played in the new season).
Here is FC Buffalo's response to the news, via the club's website.
"FC Buffalo remains committed to exploring all avenues that bring more soccer to Western New York, and is intrigued by the possibilities of an expanded season. Our club is in communication with the league and our regional allies, and will make further comment once more details are available."
The club is likely discussing options with other Midwest Region Eastern Conference teams, as the Wolves' involvement could hinge on expected travel and the associated costs.
While March and April can be bleak weather months in Buffalo (and the Northeast, for that matter), several more home games each year could be a boon for FC Buffalo's finances, should sponsors be enticed by additional exposure and fans hardy enough to endure the elements.
The NPSL falls under the jurisdiction of the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA), the only amateur league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
Along with the United Soccer League Two, the NPSL is generally considered the fourth tier of U.S. Soccer, just below the lowest professional leagues: National Independent Soccer Association and United Soccer League One.
The NPSL's decision to incorporate an additional league could be in response to the sudden growth of the fledgling NISA, which recently inked Detroit City FC and Chattanooga FC, two of the most prominent NPSL clubs over the last five years. The NISA's first competition, the fall showcase, begins this month.