ORLANDO AWARDED WORLD TEAMTENNIS EXPANSION FRANCHISE
TO BEGIN PLAY IN SUMMER 2019
Orlando Storm to play home matches at USTA National Campus
ORLANDO, Fla., March 5, 2019 – World TeamTennis (WTT) today announced that Orlando will be awarded one of two expansion franchises as the league grows to eight teams for the 2019 season. The Orlando Storm and the Vegas Rollers will debut as WTT begins its 44th season in July.
The Orlando Storm will play its home matches at the USTA National Campus. Both the Storm and the Rollers will begin to fill out their squads at the WTT Draft on March 12 in Indian Wells, Calif.
“We could not be more excited to have the Orlando Storm call the USTA National Campus home. Since we opened our doors we have looked at ways to bring new fans and players to the Campus and introduce them to the sport of tennis,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, USTA National Campus. “Showcasing World TeamTennis is a great vehicle to do just that. Orlando fans really support their local teams and we are looking forward to building that same type of fan base at the Campus.”
Jocelyn Davie will serve as the Orlando Storm’s inaugural general manager and the team will be coached by former ATP Tour player Scott Lipsky.
The WTT season consists of seven home matches and seven away matches for each team and will run from July 14-31. The WTT playoffs begin in Las Vegas with the league’s semifinals on Aug. 2, and the 2019 season concludes with the WTT Finals on Aug. 3 (see 2019 Orlando Storm schedule below).
“With the success that the USTA National Campus has had in Lake Nona the past two years, it made perfect sense for World TeamTennis to expand to the Orlando area,” said WTT CEO Carlos Silva. “Orlando is a great sports city, and we are excited to bring our high-level brand of professional team tennis to this growing market.”
WTT introduced professional team tennis to the world in 1974, with Billie Jean King famously serving as its co-founder. The new teams in Orlando and Las Vegas join the league’s existing franchises – New York Empire, Orange County Breakers, Philadelphia Freedoms, San Diego Aviators, Springfield Lasers and Washington Kastles – for play in July 2019.
“The addition of two new teams in two strong markets is a positive move for WTT for 2019 and for the future,” said King. “This expansion is not only good for the league, it also is another indication of the importance of bringing our brand of tennis to new audiences and our commitment to growing the sport at all levels.”
In 2018, each of WTT’s teams incorporated select tennis stars from the ATP and WTA tours – including seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and 13-year WTT veteran Venus Williams, 2019 Australian Open and 2018 US Open women’s singles champion Naomi Osaka, 2017 US Open women’s champ Sloane Stephens, and twins Bob and Mike Bryan, the most decorated doubles team in tennis history.
WTT is one of five active U.S. pro sports leagues which has been in operation for more than 40 years, along with the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. For more information on World TeamTennis, please visit www.wtt.com.