(LAS VEGAS, KXNT)–Just weeks after a much-publicized announcement that a professional tennis team would re-locate in Las Vegas, bringing the area its first major league pro sports franchise, the deal is off.
The Las Vegas Neon, scheduled to play home matches at the Darling Tennis Center in July, is now defunct before a single serve.
The owner of the Sacramento franchise, which was to move to Vegas, was arrested on fraud charges last month and now a federal judge has frozen the assets of the parent firm.
The team owner, Deepal Wannakuwatte, has a medical supply firm that is now unable to meet financial obligations of the sports franchise.
The league, World Team Tennis, has decided to play its 2014 season this summer with just seven teams.
The league’s Commissioner called the Neon development unexpected, and that the league hopes to consider Las Vegas as a future team.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said in a statement to KXNT ““I am disappointed, and I know that the local tennis community is disappointed, that Mylan World Team Tennis will not be playing at the fabulous Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center in 2014. I appreciate Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss supporting Las Vegas as a host city for a franchise and for recognizing what a great market this is for professional sports. I look forward to the league considering Las Vegas for a future franchise, not only because we are one of the most exciting cities in the world, but also because we have a top-flight public tennis center that is the perfect home for a professional tennis team.”