‘2800 trillion’ super-rich man enters the baseball game… Saudi professional baseball in full swing

Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s biggest sports powers, will have its first professional baseball team.

Baseball United, a professional baseball league in the Middle East and South Asia, signed an agreement with the Saudi Baseball and Softball Federation (SBSF) on Friday (local time) to create three professional baseball teams in the kingdom, according to Reuters.

Under the agreement, Baseball United will establish professional baseball teams in each of Riyadh, Jeddah, and Damman, the three largest cities in Saudi Arabia, and secure the rights to hold league games in Saudi Arabia.

Baseball United will also work with SBSF to develop baseball in Saudi Arabia, including the creation of a subsidiary in the kingdom and training programs for amateur and professional players, coaches and umpires.

Baseball United CEO Cathy Shaikh said the organization is honored to be included in Saudi Arabia’s plan to develop and invest in the sports industry.

“This agreement significantly expands Baseball United’s presence and footprint in the Middle East and allows us to work at the grassroots level to help grow the game in the largest country in the region,” he said.

Baseball United opened its doors in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), last July.

So far, the organization has created four teams – the Mumbai Cobras (India), Karachi Monarchs (Pakistan), Dubai Wolves, and Abu Dhabi Falcons (UAE) – and plans to create four more, bringing the total number of teams to eight when league play begins in November.

Some of the players include former Major League Baseball (MLB) stars such as Bartolo Colon, Pablo Sandoval, and Robinson Cano.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is attempting to transform itself into a tourism and business hub with less reliance on fossil fuels through Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s “Vision 2030” project.

Crown Prince bin Salman is the unofficial richest person in the world. The royal family and its spheres of influence are worth a whopping $280 trillion, according to the consensus of global economic media.

Saudi Arabia is working on mega new city projects such as Neom City to break away from its oil-oriented industrial structure, and is also seeking to improve its image through investment in sports and promote leisure life.

It has already invested astronomical amounts of money in its professional soccer league, attracting world-class players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino. It has also emerged as a major player in global sports, with its sovereign wealth fund-sponsored LIV Golf Tour offering huge prize money to attract players, and is in the process of merging with the U.S. Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour.

Saudi Arabia will host the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in 2027 and the Winter Asian Games in 2029. It was the sole bidder for the 2034 World Cup and is virtually guaranteed to host it. The country is also dabbling in professional baseball.


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