Casino's arena home to WNBA team
NEW YORK -- The Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., will host the United States' first-round Davis Cup match against Austria in February.
The site was announced formally Wednesday at a news conference with Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe in the casino's 10,000-seat arena.
It's the same arena where the WNBA's Connecticut Sun began playing this year. There is no sports book at the Mohegan Sun, and the NBA has played exhibition games at the arena. There are several entrances to the sprawling Mohegan Sun complex, and fans with children can enter through the main doors of the 34-story hotel.
"We know we're coming to a tennis hotbed, and look forward to the fans supporting our team," said McEnroe. "We have a nucleus of dedicated players including the world's number one in singles and doubles, who are committed to winning the cup this year."
"Davis Cup is unlike any tennis event in the world and brings a special brand of team tennis that combines passion, electricity and patriotism," said Arlen Kantarian, USTA's chief executive. "We look forward to bringing Davis Cup back to New England, and hope to see a loud, sell-out crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena."
Sporting events at casinos aren't new. Boxing has been a big attraction for decades, and a minor league hockey team plays at a Las Vegas casino.
"We're excited about bringing this world-class international sporting event to Connecticut," said Paul Munick of the Mohegan Sun. "This further demonstrates our strong commitment to making the Mohegan Sun Arena the premier venue for sports and entertainment in the Northeast."
The Feb. 6-8 series will be the first Davis Cup matches in Connecticut since 1987, when the United States faced West Germany at Hartford.
McEnroe said last month that he expected the best-of-five series against Austria to be played on the West Coast. That would make travel easier for players such as No. 1-ranked Andy Roddick because the Davis Cup matches come between the Australian Open and an indoor hard-court ATP Tour tournament in San Jose, Calif.
The United States and Austria played once before in the Davis Cup, with the Americans winning a semifinal at Vienna en route to the 1990 title. The United States has won a record 31 Davis Cups, most recently in 1995. Austria never has reached a final.
The winner will advance to the April 9-11 quarterfinals against 2003 champion Australia or Sweden.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.