Saudi Arabia is taking a deep dive into the world of professional sports, and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down. Fresh off securing the rights to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, the kingdom is now eyeing two very different but equally exciting arenas.
First up, cricket! Saudi Arabia is apparently in talks with the Indian Premier League (IPL) about pumping a whopping $5 billion into the world’s premier international cricket competition. This could boost the IPL’s value to a staggering $30 billion, with the Saudis snagging a significant minority stake in the league. It’s a bold move and the kingdom’s first big step into the world of cricket.
But that’s not all – Saudi Arabia’s sporting ambition doesn’t stop at the cricket pitch. They’re also looking to grab the Miami and Madrid Opens, two major tennis tournaments that currently belong to Endeavor’s IMG agency. These events are top-level showdowns on the men’s ATP and women’s WTA tours, just a tier below the illustrious Grand Slams. The price tags on these tournaments could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars!
The Saudis aren’t exactly newbies to the sports scene, though. They launched the Diriyah Tennis Cup back in 2019 and now play host to the under-21 Next Gen ATP Finals until 2027. Plus, they’ve been flirting with the idea of investing in the ATP and WTA tours individually, although those plans haven’t solidified just yet.
But wait, there’s more! Saudi Arabia’s sports portfolio extends beyond cricket and tennis. They’ve got skin in the game when it comes to LIV Golf, Formula 1, and even the Premier League’s Newcastle United. Not to mention, they’ve dipped their toes into the wild world of MMA.
So, there you have it – Saudi Arabia is making major moves in the sports universe, and it’s clear that they’re not just satisfied with hosting the 2034 FIFA World Cup. Keep an eye on the kingdom as they kick up the action in the cricket and tennis realms while still playing ball in various other sporting arenas.