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Agreement with the Saudi Baseball and Softball Federation will enable Baseball United to host its league within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and includes rights to launch Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam franchises

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA (March 6, 2024) - Baseball United, the first-ever professional baseball league focused on the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent, announced today a historic partnership with the Saudi Baseball and Softball Federation (SBSF). The agreement gives Baseball United an unlimited term to host its professional league and tournaments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and includes rights to new Baseball United franchises representing Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam – three of the Kingdom's largest cities. This marks the first time in history that professional baseball will be brought to Saudi Arabia.

As part of the agreement, Baseball United will open a subsidiary in Saudi Arabia and partner with the SBSF to develop baseball in the Kingdom. This work will include promoting the game across the region, developing local talent in Saudi Arabia, and designing training programs and curriculums for players, coaches, and umpires at both the amateur and professional levels. In addition, Baseball United will look to host future tournaments and league games in Saudi Arabia, appealing to the more than 1.5 million baseball fans already in the country, while working to further grow a dynamic fanbase in the Kingdom.
 
Baseball United will lead the community engagement and marketing strategy for its league, while SBSF will assist with government relations, regulations, and policy work.

“This is a monumental day for the sport of baseball,” said Kash Shaikh, Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Baseball United. “Saudi Arabia is setting the pace for sports development, investment, and growth in the Kingdom and beyond, and we are truly honored to now include baseball within those ambitious plans. This agreement significantly elevates Baseball United's standing and footprint within the region, and, just as importantly, enables us to work at the grassroots level to help grow the game in the Middle East's largest country. We will also now expand our BU franchises into Saudi Arabia, building local fanbases in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam, and helping to inspire more young people to fall in love with the game. I am immensely grateful to the Saudi Baseball and Softball Federation and its visionary leadership team for their partnership and support. Our team and I are excited to continue building with SBSF Chairman, Mr. Nayef bin Muhammad bin Abdul Mohsen bin Humaid, Vice Chairman Mrs. Reem bint Sufyan bin Abdul Latif Banaja, CEO Mr. Abdul Rahman bin Hassan Al Shehri and all the passionate members of the SBSF.”

The Saudi Baseball and Softball Federation is the youngest baseball federation in the world, formed in 2019. Over the past five years, the Federation has made significant inroads in developing the foundational infrastructure necessary to expand the game of baseball in Saudi Arabia. The team will now partner with Baseball United to develop its national team, with aims to compete in upcoming World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) tournaments. The SBSF works in concert with Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia's ambitious roadmap for economic diversification, global engagement, and enhanced quality of life. Vision 2030 is built around three primary themes: a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. The historic vision was developed by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which is chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh, the nation's capital and main financial hub, has a population of nearly eight million people and has hosted some of the world's biggest sporting events over the past year. Jeddah, a Saudi Arabian port city on the Red Sea, is a modern commercial hub and travel gateway, with a population of four million people. Dammam is the major commercial port in Saudi's Eastern Province and the Kingdom's fourth-most populous city, with a metro population of 1.5 million people. Baseball United's professional baseball franchises will be the first in the history of each city.

“On behalf of the Saudi Baseball and Softball Federation, I am honored to welcome Baseball United to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Nayef bin Muhammad bin Abdul Mohsen bin Humaid, Chairman, SBSF. “Operating under the leadership of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, the SBSF has worked to build and inspire a local community that loves and practices baseball and softball within Saudi Arabia, with aspirations to also reach international horizons and achievements. This partnership with Baseball United will help fuel that vision, and it will elevate the caliber of players, events, and attention for the sport here in Saudi Arabia. We are looking forward to many years of prosperity with Mr. Kash Shaikh and the entire Baseball United team.”

Baseball United began play in Dubai last November with its inaugural All-Star Showcase, the first professional baseball games in the history of the region. The event was broadcast in 127 countries, reaching 200 million households. Baseball United's ownership group now boasts 18 MLB legends, including Barry Larkin, Mariano Rivera, Adrian Beltre, Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, and Ryan Howard. 

Baseball United previously announced four franchises that will compete in its future tournaments and league, including the Mumbai Cobras, Karachi Monarchs, and two UAE-based teams, the Wolves and Falcons.

The league is scheduled to announce its 2024 gameplay plans as well as its Saudi expansion franchises later this year.

For more information about Baseball United, visit baseballunited.com.

For more information on the SBSF, visit sbsf.org.sa.




Posted by : GoDubai Editorial Team
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Posted on : Thursday, March 7, 2024  
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