WASHINGTON, May 5, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
On Monday, World TeamTennis CEO Carlos Silva announced that due to the coronavirus outbreak, it would be inappropriate for its players, staff and fans to travel between the nine league cities for its upcoming 2020 season.
Therefore, plans are to hold the WTT three-week season, scheduled to begin July 12, in one city. The WTT said it will follow all Center For Disease Control (CDC) and state guidelines, as safety is its top priority. It said in a statement it will announce the city in the weeks ahead.
“At World TeamTennis we continue to evaluate and plan for our mid-summer season recognizing that we must adapt to the COVID-19 situation,” the WTT statement said. “Our World TeamTennis host cities have all been affected by both the virus and ‘stay-at-home’ orders to varying degrees. Some states remain closed with no immediate plans to re-open, while several other states are phasing in increased levels of activity.
“While we remain hopeful that the WTT season will begin on July 12, as originally scheduled, we have concluded that it is not possible for players, staff and fans to complete the necessary air travel to and from our nine host cities. Safety for all involved remains at the forefront of our decision-making. Therefore, the WTT season in its normal format will not take place this year. However, we are developing a new plan to conduct the 2020 season in one venue, in one city. We are very excited about this prospect and believe that this will be a unique way to allow our athletes the opportunity to compete for the 2020 WTT King Trophy and this year’s $1,000,000 prize.”
The nine WTT franchises are located in: New York City; Newport Beach, Calif.; Philadelphia; Carlsbad, Calif; Springfield, Mo.; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and Chicago.
The statement said the league is in discussion with several cities located in states that have begun to ease restrictions to host the WTT season. The WTT intends to update the situation before the end of May as plans materialize.
WTT has decided that due to COVID-19 it would be inappropriate for players, staff & fans to travel between cities & will now hold our 2020 season in one city. WTT will follow all CDC & state guidelines, as safety is our top priority, and will announce the city in the weeks ahead. pic.twitter.com/Be514wj8vl
— World TeamTennis (@WorldTeamTennis) May 4, 2020