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Breakers' new home: Tennis Club

World Team Tennis franchise isn't moving that far, but expects good things in intimate setting provided by The Tennis Club Newport Beach.

June 26, 2010|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com
  • The Newport Beach Breakers will play the home matches of their 2010 season on this court at The Tennis Club.
The Newport Beach Breakers will play the home matches… (KENT TREPTOW, DAILY…)

The move for the Newport Beach Breakers is short.

It's just a stone's throw – or maybe a tennis ball's hit – from the parking lot of the Newport Beach Country Club to the courts at The Tennis Club Newport Beach. Sure, it's a bit more off Pacific Coast Highway, but it's hardly a big change of locale.

Yet, for the first time since 2006, the Breakers won't be playing in that parking lot when their World Team Tennis home schedule gets underway July 6 against the Sacramento Capitals.

Why? It's a combination of things, said Breakers executive director Jeff Purser. He began exploring the idea after meeting The Tennis Club President/CEO Charlie Sharp as well as Paul Ramsey, the president of the Ramsey Tennis Group, which now owns the club.

Ramsey changed the name of the former Balboa Bay Club Racquet Club to The Tennis Club Newport Beach after acquiring it last summer. He also is the principal owner and president of the Newport Beach Yacht Club.

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"I got the opportunity to meet Charlie Sharp and Paul Ramsey," Purser said. "They invited me to explore hosting it there. At the same time, Newport Beach Country Club has a big summer of member golf events. The way the schedule is working out, [the Breakers] are going to be right in the middle of that."

The capacity will be a bit smaller at The Tennis Club, down from about 1,940 to 1,800. But Purser said that will help create a more intimate setting. No seat at the new facility is more than about 18-20 feet beghind the baseline, he said.

"The seats start right off the court," Purser said. "In the past, you just didn't feel as close to the court. It's just a better seating configuration."

The stadium itself is being constructed at the first three courts bordering the parking lot at the club, said Tim Mang, director of marketing and public relations at the club.

"It'll be the first three courts as you go in," Mang said. "The first court will be the box seats and club tickets, the second the stadium court and the third court will be the grandstands."

The first row of the parking lot, closest to the club, will be transformed into the familiar kiosks and tents.

This will be the Breakers' second change of venue since the franchise was awarded to Newport Beach in 2003. Palisades Tennis Club played host to the Breakers from 2003-06, after the facility – then called the John Wayne Tennis Club – featured the now-defunct Newport Beach Dukes from 1990-94.

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