The Middle East’s Play to Rule Global Sports

From a Washington Post story by Rick Maese headlined “The Middle East’s play to rule global sports”:

When the NBA needed a new country to continue its global expansion, it turned to the United Arab Emirates, which was eager to help stage preseason games an ocean away.

“It checked a lot of boxes for us,” said Mark Tatum, the NBA deputy commissioner who oversees global strategy for the league.

When boxing promoters dreamed up a fantasy match between heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and mixed martial arts star Francis Ngannou, they partnered with Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich country that’s doling out impossibly large checks and upending the sporting establishment.