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Saudi sporting events market to hit $3.2 billion by 2024: EY

By February 2, 2022Sports events

The value of the sporting events industry in Saudi Arabia is growing 8% annually, from $2.1 billion in 2018 to around $3.3 billion by 2024, said professional services firm EY in its report on sporting event opportunities in the kingdom.

In 2021, despite international travel restrictions, Saudi Arabia hosted the Saudi International Golf Tournament, Diriyah E-Prix, Saudi Cup, Global Series Extreme E race and WWE Crown Jewel event. The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was also held for the first time last year, with the inaugural edition of the race being held in Jeddah.

Recognizing the significant potential of sport as a catalyst for economic development, the Saudi government announced significant investment commitments of $2 billion in sport by 2024, $670 million to support private sector sports clubs and $320 million for private sector club sponsorship through 2023.

Ahmed Reda, EY Mena Technology, Media and Entertainment, and Telecommunications Leader, said: “One of the goals of Vision 2030 is the creation of professional sports and a sports industry that will generate jobs for Saudis and improve the citizens’ quality of life. . Saudi Arabia is ambitiously expanding the range of sporting events it hosts – major international events, elite sports, regular domestic competitions and many smaller and mass participation events. It is an industrial sector that abounds with opportunities for social and economic growth and offers enormous opportunities for foreign investment.

Saudi Vision 2030 and the role of the sports industry

Strategic investments in sport reflect the leading role they will play in achieving the goals set out in Saudi Vision 2030: to create a vibrant society by promoting healthy lifestyles and well-being, both physically and social. The Quality of Life program was launched in May 2018 to achieve this goal and encourage mass participation.

The development of sport has also been shown to offer significant potential for economic development. Sport’s contribution to Saudi Arabia’s GDP has already increased from $2.4 billion in 2016 to $6.9 billion in 2019.

In a relatively short period of time, Saudi Arabia has established itself as a new breeding ground for a thriving sporting event ecosystem by hosting some of the biggest sporting events in the world. The number of international events in Saudi Arabia doubled from nine in 2018 to 19 in 2019, including WWE Super Showdown, Saudi Pro-Golf Championship, Battle of the Champions, International Handball Federation Super Globe and the Saudi International Meeting for Disabilities. Sport.

Laurent Viviez, EY Mena Sports Practice Leader, said: “Hosting sporting events will generate substantial benefits for Saudi Arabia and will have a direct economic impact on spectator revenue such as ticketing, food and beverage. , accommodation, athlete expenses and sponsorships. With an estimated market value of $3.3 billion by 2024, the global and local private sectors have ample opportunity to play an important role in the growth of the industry.

“The Saudi private sector can add enormous value as sports event organizers, sports infrastructure providers and sports marketing agencies or event managers.”

The development of the sports industry in Saudi Arabia will also help promote the country as a top tourist destination and provide attractive employment opportunities, both in competitive sports and in sports business. More than two-thirds of the Saudi population is under 35 and has a growing appetite for sports, which is driving both event participation and attendance. – TradeArabia Press Office