Friday, December 18, 2015

Dream of World TeamTennis faces uncertain future

Tennys Sandgren, left, and Neal Skupski of the California
Dream face the San Diego Aviators in July in the Sacramento
suburb of Citrus Heights. Photo by Paul Bauman
   The California Dream could be one-and-done.
   Sacramento's World TeamTennis franchise appears to be in financial trouble after its inaugural season in July, The Sacramento Bee reported on Thursday.
   Randy Peters Catering, the Dream's concessionaire, sued the team this week for allegedly failing to pay a $19,000 bill.
   The Dream faces an uncertain future, part-owner Bob Kaliski told The Bee.
   "I don't know if the team is going to be back or not," said Kaliski, adding that he lost $175,000 investing in the team. "I know I'm not going to be back. I don't know about the rest of the team."
   The Dream's other two owners, Jeff Launius and Mike Malone, could not be reached for comment. The team's phone number and Launius' cell number are out of service.
   WTT spokeswoman Rosie Crews told The Bee that Launius has until the end of the month to meet the financial commitments for the Dream to return next season.
   California averaged an announced 1,291 fans for seven home matches in its 2,400-seat temporary stadium in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights.
The Dream's Jarmila Gajdosova poses for a photo with young
fans after the match against San Diego. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Other than for the only home appearance by doubles stars Bob and Mike Bryan, attendance was often sparse.
   California won six of its last seven regular-season matches to finish second in the Western Conference at 9-5, then lost to the host Austin Aces in the conference final.
   The Dream, formerly the Texas Wild in the Dallas area, brought WTT back to the Sacramento region after a one-year absence.
   The Sacramento Capitals announced in February 2014 that they were moving to Las Vegas after 28 years and a record six league titles because the team lacked a permanent tennis facility.
   Four weeks later, WTT disbanded the franchise when team owner Deepal Wannakuwatte was jailed on charges of defrauding investors in his medical supply business of $109 million. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
   Former Capitals co-owner Lonnie Nielson pleaded guilty to grand theft related to his real estate business in 2010 and was released from prison in 2013.
   The other owner with Nielson, Sacramento real estate developer Bob Cook, declared bankruptcy after the 2011 season.

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