What’s in store for sports fans in the next decade?

What is in store for sports fans over the next decade?

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the changes that could be on the way.

Eastern promise

Andy Ruiz Jr v Anthony Joshua – Diriyah Arena
Arab states of the Persian Gulf are set to become major players in hosting top sports events (Nick Potts/PA)

Anthony Joshua provided a taste of things to come at the end of 2019 by heading to Saudi Arabia to reclaim his world heavyweight belts. Qatar will host the 2022 football World Cup and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are keen to add more top-class events to their burgeoning sport portfolios. Oil-rich Azerbaijan and economic powerhouse China will also ensure that sports tourism will continue to rise in the east during the next decade.

Box of tricks

Southampton v Norwich City – Premier League – St Mary’s
Online streaming giants want to change the way viewers watch sport (Steven Paston/PA)

The way we watch our sport at home is set to undergo huge change. Streaming giant Amazon Prime has just made its first foray into the Premier League market after winning the rights to serve up exclusive ATP tennis content. Broadcasting space will become more fragmented over the next 10 years, with video platforms and social apps proving more popular. As well as the likes of Amazon and Netflix, Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter could see sports media rights as a vehicle to boost engagement on their platforms.

London calling

Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams – NFL International Series – Wembley Stadium
London could get an NFL franchise team during the next decade ( Simon Cooper/PA)

The National Football League’s annual excursion to London is likely to become more permanent. Be it a new expansion team or one of the existing 32 outfits currently based in the United States being relocated, an NFL team should one day soon be calling London home. Tottenham’s new stadium or Wembley are possible home grounds for a new franchise. With big crowds having backed multiple regular season games in the past, there will be increasing support for a London-based team on both sides of the Atlantic.

Football revolution

Barcelona v Liverpool – UEFA Champions League – Semi Final – First Leg – Camp Nou
Heavyweights like Liverpool and Barcelona could be heading for a European super league (Nick Potts/PA)

Expect the call for change in top-level football to grow even louder over the next decade. A major overhaul of European club competition has already been proposed, with a new 32-team division for the Champions League devised. If some top European clubs get their way, that will be the forerunner of a European Super League. Do not rule out Gulf states and China hosting games should that happen.

Snooker snookered?

Betway UK Championship – Day Seven – York Barbican
Will snooker’s great entertainer Ronnie O’Sullivan still be a force in the years to come? (Nigel French/PA)

Ronnie O’Sullivan became a professional snooker player in 1992 and won his first ranking tournament a year later. ‘The Rocket’ turned 44 earlier this month and it remains to be seen how long O’Sullivan will be around for. Will snooker suffer if its greatest entertainer has a diminishing role at the top of the game over the next decade? And would the younger generation be able to fill the gap and attract sponsors and supporters alike?

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