Dubai International Stadium has been named as the host venue for the inaugural showcase of the new United International Baseball League (UIBL), which will serve India, Pakistan and the Middle East.
The region’s first-ever professional baseball league gets under way with the UIBL Inaugural Showcase in February and March 2023. The Dubai Sports City venue will play host to nine games and one exhibition featuring four of the league’s initial franchises.
Dubai International Stadium, which opened in 2009, has hosted several high-profile International Cricket Council (ICC) and Indian Premier League (IPL) tournaments, including last year’s IPL Final. The 25,000-capacity venue will also be home to the inaugural season of the International League T20 (ILT20), the UAE’s professional cricket league that begins play in January 2023.
“It’s an honour for our league to begin play in one of the world’s most storied stadiums,” said Kanwal S. Sra, founder, chairman and chief executive of the UIBL. “Dubai International Stadium is one of the jewels of the region, and it will be an incredible launchpad for the UIBL as we bring professional baseball to fans across the Middle East and South Asia. We greatly appreciate the support and partnership of Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Sports City, and the entire Dubai International Stadium team.”
UIBL said a key part of its growth strategy and intellectual property is its proprietary process of transforming cricket fields across the region into baseball fields. This includes formulation and transportation of the infield dirt, design and implementation of the fencing, and customisation and build-out of the dugouts, bullpens and pitching mound.
UIBL said it is creating first-of-its-kind seating options that will get fans closer than ever to the action. It added that plans for stadium designs and new fan seating options – including new premium and corporate seating – will be announced in the months ahead.
“We are honoured to host the UIBL at Dubai International Stadium,” said Khalid Al Zarooni, president of Dubai Sports City. “This event continues our stadium’s tradition of hosting world-class international sporting events. We support the UIBL’s vision to bring baseball to our region, and we’re excited to offer fans across our city – and the world – the chance to experience America’s pastime.”