World TeamTennis is taking 2022 off as the mixed-gender league co-founded by legend Billie Jean King seeks new franchises for next year and catches its breath.
WTT is returning to playing in individual markets for the 2023 season and taking expansion proposals from prospective ownership groups with the goal of adding multiple new franchises.
The WTT expansion fee is $1M and the mixed-gender league is also open to adding new investment and owners.
The league, which played in single locations during the COVID-hit 2020 and 2021 seasons, will not play this year.
WTT chair and CEO Eric Davidson said that the goal in sitting out 2022 is to help the league’s franchises regain their financial health after heavy impacts from the pandemic.
According to WTT COO Allen Hardison, the league will have at least 6 franchises in 2023, plus any new ones they add.
There are still a few existing franchises determining their status for 2023.
WTT was founded nearly a half-century ago by King and is America’s only professional, mixed-gender team tennis league.
“We are excited to announce that WTT is looking to add expansion franchises and returning to playing in individual cities across the United States in 2023,” WTT Chairman & CEO Eric Davidson said.
“While hosting all of the WTT matches at one site in 2020 and 2021 was necessary due to the pandemic, our fans have missed the access that the teams bring in their home markets, and we are excited to bring that model back in 2023.”
WTT hosted the 2021 WTT season last November at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.
“With the 2021 season finishing up in late November and the damage that COVID caused to our franchises, we decided against rushing to host a 2022 season so our teams can get healthy as we look to relaunch in the summer of 2023,” Davidson said.
While the pandemic hampered much of the sports industry over the past two years, WTT saw significant growth in its 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Grand Slam champions who participated during the last two WTT campaigns included Venus Williams, the Bryan Brothers (Bob and Mike Bryan), Kim Clijsters, Jack Sock, Sloane Stephens, Sofia Kenin, CoCo Vandewedghe and Ryan Harrison.
In addition, top-ranked American’s Taylor Fritz (ATP No 13), Jessica Pegula (WTA No 7) and Danielle Collins (WTA No 8) have also participated over the past few seasons.
The league also broke single-match viewership records on national network television for both the regular season (484,000 viewers) and WTT Finals (556,000 viewers) in 2020 when all 9 WTT franchises competed at America’s Resort at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
World TeamTennis was co-founded by tennis legend and visionary Billie Jean King and has continued to innovate the sport every year since its debut season in 1974.
The fast-paced action and unique scoring format creates an energised and exciting atmosphere for WTT fans and players.
The team event affords the opportunity for men’s and women’s Major champions to share the court in each and every match throughout the season, including in the championship with the King Trophy on the line.
More information can be found at wtt.com .