The Explorers have played their final professional tennis match in Kansas City.
Jeff Launius, co-owner of the World TeamTennis franchise, said Friday that the team is leaving Kansas City after 20 years and moving to Irving, Texas.
"The bottom line is we’ll miss our Kansas City fans and close partnership with the city of Kansas City," Launius said. "However, corporate sponsorships are critical … unfortunately we’ve seen a drop off in that over the last few years."
The Dallas Morning News reported Friday that Irving has agreed to pay $400,000 to bring the Explorers to the Dallas/Fort Worth suburb.
Kathy Nelson, president of the Kansas City Sports Commission, said she’ll miss taking the short walk from her office to matches downtown.
"Not only from a city standpoint but from a sports fan perspective it’s always difficult to lose a team," Nelson said. "I know they struggled to find sponsorship and promotion."
The move ends a long-standing relationship with the Explorers in Kansas City.
The Explorers arrived in 1993, playing at Municipal Auditorium, Kemper Arena, Hale Arena and the Plaza Tennis Center until 2006 when it moved to Barney Allis Plaza.
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