Circulating reports suggest that Saudi Arabia has expressed interest in purchasing two major tennis tournaments in Miami and Madrid.
As per The Athletic, people close to the competition have shared that Saudi Arabia is ready to spend millions of dollars to acquire the events, which are currently owned by sports business company IMG and are on the same level of importance as the BNP Paribas Open and the Italian Open.
While nothing has been confirmed yet, according to the sources quoted by The Athletic, if talks prove to be successful it would further reenforce Saudi Arabia’s growing influence in western sports, following the upcoming biggest merger in golf history between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour, as well as the UFC’s debut in Riyadh in March next year.
The country is also on the verge of being approved to host the FIFA 2034 World Cup on the back of attracting some of the best global football talent to its club football scene, parallel to also making some significant moves in cricket as well.
As per the latest two potential tennis deals, IMG owns both the Madrid Open and the Miami Open, with the latter also involving an agreement with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross as it takes place at his Hard Rock Stadium venue.
Given the current complex geopolitical landscape it remains to be seen whether any sort of agreement will be reached, but nevertheless Saudi Arabia has already cemented its position as a leader on the global tennis map by winning the hosting rights of the ATP’s Next Gen Finals between 2023 and 2027, as well as announcing an exhibition match in December between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz.
The country has also expressed strong interest in hosting the WTA Tour Finals.