SBD/June 25, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA To Return To London For Regular-Season Game, Add One In Mexico City

The NBA for the first time will play two regular-season games outside the U.S. and Canada next season. The T'Wolves and Spurs are set to play at Mexico City Arena on Dec. 4, while the Hawks will play the Nets at The O2 Arena in London on Jan. 16. The NBA has played three regular-season games in London in the previous three seasons. The league also is branding both its regular-season and preseason int'l schedule into the "NBA Global Games." The regular-season games now join the previously announced overseas preseason schedule that will include eight games in six countries in October (John Lombardo, Staff Writer). SB NATION’s Rodger Shermanon notes the league “has played several preseason games in Mexico, including a Hornets-Magic game this past October,” but there has not been a regular-season game there since '97. The teams next season will be “playing in a brand new arena, a 22,500-seat building opened last February.” The league “obviously wants to pique interest in the sport in the soccer-crazy nation of 112 million.” Meanwhile, it is the “second straight season the league has played a regular season game in London.” The logistic issue about playing in the U.K. “is jetlag: while several teams have taken European trips during the preseason, slotting a game with a six-hour time difference into a team's regular season schedule is somewhat tough.” It is “not clear which team will give up a home game to play overseas, but judging from recent attendance figures, it will probably be” the T’Wolves or the Hawks (SBNATION.com, 6/25).
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