Toronto-Buffalo Royals

Toronto-Buffalo Royals
Sport Team tennis
Founded May 22, 1973 (1973-05-22)
Folded February 1, 1975 (1975-02-01)
League World TeamTennis
Division Eastern
Team history Toronto-Buffalo Royals
Hartford Royals
(Never played)
Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Buffalo, New York, United States
Stadium CNE Coliseum
Buffalo Memorial Auditorium

Navy Blue, Light Blue

Owner(s) Herbert S. Hoffman, Phyllis Morse
Head coach Tom Okker
Championships None
Division titles None
Playoff berths None

The Toronto-Buffalo Royals were a charter franchise of World Team Tennis (WTT) founded by John F. Bassett and John C. Eaton, III. The team was sometimes referred to as the Buffalo-Toronto Royals. The Royals played half of their home matches in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the other half in Buffalo, New York, United States. The Royals played only one season before being sold and moving to Hartford, Connecticut after the 1974 season. The team was contracted by WTT on February 1, 1975. The Royals had 13 wins and 31 losses, and finished in last place in the Central Section missing the playoffs.

Team history

The Royals were founded by Canadian businessman and retired tennis player John F. Bassett and merchant John C. Eaton, III as a charter member of WTT in 1973. Originally, WTT granted the franchise to Toronto.[1] The team began play in WTT's inaugural 1974 season. The Royals played half of their home matches at the CNE Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the other half at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, New York, United States.[2] While WTT identified the team as the Toronto-Buffalo Royals in its official standings,[3] the team was sometimes called the Buffalo-Toronto Royals by the Canadian media[2] among others. The team identified itself as the Toronto-Buffalo Royals in its media guide and promotional materials such as team pennants.[4]

The Royals' main attraction was player-coach Tom Okker. However, Okker's contract allowed him to be excused from his commitment to the Royals when he had opportunities to play in ATP or Grand Slam tournaments. So, Okker was effectively a part-time player.[2] The Royals struggled to a record of 13 wins and 31 losses, last place in the Central Section.[3][5]

On October 16, 1974, team president Bassett announced that the Royals had been sold to Bert Hoffman and Phyllis Morse who said that they would move the team to Hartford, Connecticut.[6]

At the WTT owners meeting on February 1, 1975, each team was required to post a $500,000 letter of credit. Since the Royals failed to do so, the team was contracted by WTT. A dispersal draft was conducted to distribute the players among the remaining teams in the league.[7]

Home courts

The following table shows home courts used by the Toronto-Buffalo Royals in 1974, the only season in which they competed in WTT.

Venue Location Duration Notes
Start End
CNE Coliseum Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1974 1974 Home venue for half of the team's matches
Buffalo Memorial Auditorium Buffalo, New York, United States 1974 1974 Home venue for half of the team's matches

1974 roster

The Toronto-Buffalo Royals roster for the 1974 season was

See also


  1. Janoff, Murray (July 7, 1973). "Tennis: New Pro Circuit". Sporting News.
  2. 1 2 3 Li, Justin (October 15, 2013). "A League of Their Own: A Brief History of Defunct Toronto Sports Teams". The Grid. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  3. 1 2 "World Team Tennis Life Events". World TeamTennis. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  4. Van Miller, Chevy (March 29, 2007). "Three Buffalo Professional Sports Franchises". Two Bills Drive. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  5. "Steve Dimitry's Extinct Sports Leagues: World Team Tennis (1974–1978)". Steve Dimitry. 1998. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  6. "WTT Franchise Sold to Harford, Conn.". Playground Daily News. October 17, 1974. p. 18.
  7. "New Boston Net Team Obtains Six Backers". Berkshire Eagle. March 28, 1975. p. 18.
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