• Loading stock data...
Saturday, February 24, 2024
Rates for the 2024 Best Venue Awards increase this Sunday at 11:59 p.m. ET

Saudi Arabia Keeps Buying Into Sports. The WTA Is Resisting, For Now

  • Saudi Arabia is pushing to host next year's WTA Finals.
  • That deal and efforts in professional golf face significant delays.
Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Saudi Arabia has been crystal clear in its intentions to buy into as many pro sports outfits as possible — but sealing lucrative deals isn’t as easy as it looks.

Several British media outlets recently reported that the 2024 WTA Finals will be held in the Middle East nation as part of a major deal surrounding the season-ending event of tennis’ top women’s tour. 

However, the WTA tells Reuters that no decision has been made about a venue or location for next November’s tournament. “We are in discussions with various groups surrounding the 2024 WTA Finals and beyond,” a WTA spokesperson said.

The interest from Saudi Arabia isn’t surprising: In 2022, the Saudi Public Investment Fund tried to invest in the WTA before the tour accepted a $150 million deal with CVC Capital Partners. The PIF has also backed Formula 1, LIV Golf, Newcastle United, and the Saudi Pro League. Saudi Arabia will host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, all while the country deals with continued criticisms around sportswashing given its poor human rights record.

Right now, the WTA Finals are the only event on the tour’s 2024 calendar without a set location. The finals have been searching for a long-term host since a 10-year deal with the Chinese city of Shenzhen fell through after the pandemic and the Peng Shuai saga. This year’s finals were held in Cancun.

Money Talks?

Saudi Arabia’s efforts to partner with the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour continue to move at a slow pace, but the PIF keeps pouring money into LIV Golf, which just signed Jon Rahm to a contract believed to be worth more than $500 million.

However, a recent report from Sports Illustrated indicates that the PIF was willing to fund a $1 billion equalization pool for PGA Tour players that had turned down LIV offers. That money would have been added to the $1 billion-plus investment PIF is trying to make in the PGA Tour.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

WBD Touts Streaming Profit, Sports Alliance While Stock Is Hammered

TNT Sports parent sees tough reaction from Wall Street to latest earnings.

Despite Nike’s Efforts, MLB Uniform Controversy Isn’t Looking Good

Manufacturer touts product benefits but ignores complaints of see-through fabric.

‘Treated Like Children’: College Football Players Offered $600 to Be in Video Game, No Royalties

Players may be receiving lower than the industry standard with the video game’s return.
A Bundesliga camera operator during a match

Fan Power in European Soccer Grows As German Football Deal Scuttled 

Weeks of increasingly strident protests lead to end of proposed private equity deal.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How the Negro Leagues Are Staying in the Game

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Sep 24, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; A general view of the Oakland Athletics dugout after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Murky Future: Everything You Need to Know About the A’s Move to Las Vegas

Breaking down one of the most drawn-out, multifaceted sagas in sports.
February 18, 2024

Sabrina-Steph Wasn’t the ‘Battle of the Sexes’—But It Was Part of the Bigger War

The competition could play a factor in increasing the WNBA’s media value.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23), in a Star Wars rebel alliance X-wing fighter pilot-inspired race suit, motions to the crowd to get louder during the driver introductions for the Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale on Nov. 5, 2023.
February 17, 2024

Celebrity Owners, International Ambitions, and $7B Media Deals: Welcome to the New NASCAR

NASCAR boldly keeps pace with the increasingly competitive sports and entertainment world.
February 16, 2024

Wilson Introduced an Airless Basketball for $2,500. We Had Questions

The black, 3D-printed ball appeared in last year’s Slam Dunk Contest.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Finance Manager
FanDuel
New York, NY
Senior Technical Artist - Sports Technology
EA Sports
Orlando, FL
Assistant Manager, Affiliate Operations
Adidas
Portland, OR
NFL salary cap

NFL Salary Cap Sees Historic Spike Ahead of 2024 Season

Each franchise was allotted $255.4M, which is a $30M increase for each team.
February 22, 2024

MLB Uniform Furor: Lighter, More Flexible … and See-Through

See-through uniform pants create a social media stir, extending blowback on the new design.
MLB Arizona
February 22, 2024

MLB Seeks Minimum Wage Exemption in Arizona

The system is for minor league players due to a previously agreed-on labor agreement.
Sponsored

Live Sports Are Now High-Tech Experiences

Oracle is leading the technology revolution happening in stadiums across the world.
February 21, 2024

‘Gotta Get in First’: For LIV Golfers, a New Path to the Green Jacket

Augusta National extended special invitations to three international golfers.
February 21, 2024

Messi Returns to MLS With the Weight of the League on His Shoulders

Inter Miami kicks off the MLS season against Real Salt Lake.
February 20, 2024

Pundits Bashed a 397-Point NBA All-Star Game—But Fans Still Watched

Silver struggles to conceal his frustration with the game’s lack of competitiveness.
MLS refs
February 20, 2024

The MLS Is Starting Its Season With Replacement Refs—Here’s Why

Union refs wanted a better deal, especially with traveling and scheduling.