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October 25, 2014

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Las Vegas professional tennis team to begin play in July

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L.E. Baskow

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman chats with Mylan World Team Tennis CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss during a press conference at the Darling Tennis Center about the arrival of the Las Vegas Neon on Tuesday, Feb. 04, 2014.

Las Vegas Neon Tennis Team Announced

(from left) Director of Tennis Jeff Foley joins Rocci Mendez, 8, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman and Natalie Cheong, 9, in a few volleys at the Darling Tennis Center on Tuesday, Feb. 04, 2014.  The mayor was on hand to announce the arrival of the Las Vegas Neon of the Mylan World Team Tennis here. Launch slideshow »

Las Vegas is getting a professional sports team.

No, it’s not one of those from the four major sports the area's hoped to attract the past decade.

Las Vegas is the new home for the Mylan World TeamTennis league's Sacramento Capitals franchise, the WTT announced today, and the Las Vegas Neon will play seven home matches at the Darling Tennis Center from July 6 to July 27. The franchise spent 28 seasons in Sacramento, winning four straight titles from 1997 to 2000.

“Las Vegas is a dynamic market and we are excited to bring a Mylan World TeamTennis team there for the first time, especially a team with such great championship history,” said Mylan WTT CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss in a statement. “This tennis community has always been very supportive of our recreational programs, so we know they will embrace professional team tennis and the Las Vegas Neon.”

General Manager Kolleen McNamee said the team moved to Las Vegas because it couldn’t find a permanent home in Sacramento. Last year, the Capitals played in a mall parking lot. The Darling Tennis Center is part of the 110-acre Kellogg-Zaher Sports Complex, which has previously hosted the ATP Tennis Channel Open in 2008 and 2009, and various minor-league circuit events.

“(We) enjoyed many great years in Sacramento and we will miss our truly dedicated fan base there,” McNamee said in the statement. “But we can’t wait to start this new chapter and to bring a fun exciting brand of tennis to the Las Vegas community.”

The Neon will have a hometown player highlighting its roster. Sam Querrey, who played last year for Sacramento and is part of the United States’ Davis Cup roster, was announced as part of the team. The rest of the team — consisting of two men, two women and a coach — will be announced after player drafts Feb. 11 and March 11.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

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