Company behind bringing pro tennis tournament to Louisville shuts down

Company behind bringing pro tennis tournament to Louisville shuts down
Meg Shonkwiler (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Meg Shonkwiler (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The local organization behind bringing a professional women's tennis tournament to Louisville has shut down. 

People and companies invested at least $500,000 and that doesn't include the amount of money paid for advanced tickets.

It was a lofty goal that had a lot of local support. The company, Louisville Professional Tennis, worked to organize a women's pro tennis tournament. There was even a groundbreaking at the Louisville Boat Club to celebrate an expansion and renovations for the August 2016 event.

People like Meg Shonkwiler wanted to join in.

"It was great for the tennis community and Louisville itself to support something like that, something pro," Shonkwiler said.

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She and several others went in together to purchase a box. They were all part of the Founders Circle. Shonkwiler said the minimum investment was $10,000 for tickets for five years.

"I think my portion was $1,200 and some odd dollars, so everybody put that in, whether they wanted one or two seats in the box," she said.

A couple of months ago, she went to the boat club for a match and that's when she started getting suspicious.

"I thought for as big of an event that this was going to be and the venue itself, we should have seen some piles of dirt, some bulldozers, earth moving equipment something going on," Shonkwiler said.

In May, Louisville Professional Tennis Founder Dr. Michael Bewley requested an extension by the Women's Tennis Association.

On June 22, the company folded. A letter was sent to members of the Founders Circle from the company's attorney. It states in part "LPT will not be remitting payment for debts."

"The fact that we were not in on that and just got these bits and pieces along the way makes us definitely we like we have gotten shafted," Shonkwiler said.

WTA said in a statement they hoped LPT would do everything in its power to help those impacted.

The Office of the Attorney General is now investigating.

"While it is our policy not to give specifics of our investigations, we do encourage anyone who bought tickets or other packages related to this event to fill out a consumer protection complaint form with our Office of Consumer Protection," Attorney General Andy Beshear said.

To fill out a form, click here.
 
Bewley did not return our call for comment as of Monday evening.

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