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

Dec 11, 2023

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.

Source: Front Office Sports

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