The sagging economy took a toll on local sports today when Delaware Smash officials announced the team will not compete next season in the World TeamTennis Pro League.
Citing lack of sponsorship, co-owner and general manager Jeff Harrison said it no longer made “business sense” to operate the pro league team, especially since a second WTT team – the Philadelphia Freedoms – plays nearby at King of Prussia Mall.
Harrison said he has been weighing the decision for several months but that “the finality of it just came about.”
Harrison and his staff also operate the Freedoms, so he does not anticipate job losses associated with the end of the Smash.
The Smash debuted in 1998. In their 13 seasons, the team played at the University of Delaware, DuPont Country Club and AstraZeneca.
Among the tennis stars to visit Wilmington for a Smash match were Maria Sharapova, who played for the Smash in 2002, Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, John McEnroe, Bob and Mike Bryan, Boris Becker and Anna Kournikova.