Las Vegas resident Sam Querrey will lead the newly minted Neon into the 2014 WTT season.
© Alex Smith
For the first time in league history, Las Vegas will be home to a Mylan World TeamTennis professional team. The Sacramento Capitals are moving the franchise to Las Vegas, where they will compete as the Las Vegas Neon at the Amanda and Stacy Darling Memorial Tennis Center.
With the move, the conferences are set for the 39th season of World TeamTennis. The Neon will join the Western Conference with the San Diego Aviators, Austin Aces and Texas Wild.
The 2013 Western Conference champion Springfield Lasers will be moving to the Eastern Conference in 2014 to join the defending league champion Washington Kastles, Boston Lobsters and Philadelphia Freedoms. Washington won its third consecutive championship last July with a 25-12 victory over Springfield at the WTT Finals.
Sacramento moves to Las Vegas after playing 28 seasons in the California state capital. The Capitals won a league-record six WTT championships, including four in a row from 1997 to 2000.
“We couldn't be more thrilled to welcome the Las Vegas Neon and World TeamTennis to our great city,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said. “The Darling Tennis Center is a beautiful facility, and I'm excited that we will have action-packed and electrifying professional tennis making its home in Las Vegas.”
Las Vegas will play 14 regular season matches, including seven home matches at the Darling Tennis Center this July.
The WTT regular season starts on Sunday, July 6, and runs through Wednesday, July 23. The top two teams from each conference advance to the Conference Championships on Thursday, July 24. The Eastern and Western Conference champions will face off in the finals on Sunday, July 27, on the home court of the Western Conference champion.
Las Vegas also announced plans to bring back Las Vegas resident and current ATP player Sam Querrey, who played for Sacramento last year. Querrey was part of the U.S. Davis Cup team that fell to Great Britain this past weekend. Las Vegas will have the option to retain the rights to the 2013 Sacramento players, although its 2014 team lineup will not be determined until the Marquee Player Draft on Tuesday, Feb. 11, and the WTT Roster Player Draft on Tuesday, March 11. Las Vegas will pick third in both drafts.
Kolleen McNamee, who has served as Sacramento’s general manager since the fall 2012, will continue in the role for the Neon. She said the move was necessitated because the franchise was unable to find a permanent home in Sacramento. In past years, the team has constructed a temporary stadium and in 2013 played its home matches in a mall parking lot.