Texas Wild owner Jeff Launius said he has been working on plans for the upcoming World TeamTennis season, but he wouldn’t confirm that the team will return to Irving next season.
“I’m working on several options for 2015, none of which I am ready to reveal at this time,” said Launius, who moved the team to Irving in 2013 after 20 years in Kansas City.
Launius said moving the team, formerly known as the Explorers, back to Kansas City was not among the options being considered. Selling the team or signing a big-money sponsor are options he would consider.
The Wild made an impressive debut in its first season in Texas, snapping the Washington Kastles’ record 34-match winning streak and advancing to the Western Conference finals. Led by budding young Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard and the top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan, the Wild had star power but struggled to fill the stands on a regular basis.
Prior to last season, the Bryan brothers asked to be traded to the new team in their hometown of San Diego, and Launius made the deal for cash considerations. Launius was also unable to re-sign Bouchard, who climbed into the top 10 in the WTA rankings and reached the finals at Wimbledon last year. She is currently ranked No. 7.
The Wild did not sign a marquee player during last year’s marquee player draft, instead choosing to add Anabel Medina Garrigues during the roster player draft. Launius brought Alex Bogomolov Jr., Aisam Qureshi and Darija Jurak from the 2013 team.
Attendance, however, continued to lag despite improvements made to the temporary stadium court at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas. The Wild went 6-8 last season and finished tied with in-state rival Austin for third place in a competitive Western Conference.
The Texas Wild’s plans could become clearer by March 16 when Mylan World TeamTennis holds its marquee and roster player drafts during the Masters-level tournament in Indian Wells, Calif.
The 40th season of World TeamTennis, started by Billie Jean King in 1974, will run July 12-29. The Conference Championships are set for July 30 and the Mylan WTT Finals, is scheduled for Aug. 2.