NBA Is Eyeing Mexico City

The league put a G League franchise there and is playing a game in the city.

The National Basketball Association is going back to Mexico City for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020 with a Miami Heat versus San Antonio Spurs contest. NBA management has been intrigued with Mexico City for years but didn’t know exactly how to approach the market. This year, the NBA placed a G League team in Mexico City as a way of testing out the market on a long-term basis but the G League is strictly minor league basketball and you cannot get big pesos for minor league games. Could the NBA bypass Seattle or Las Vegas for Mexico City if it adds franchises? It is a possibility but there has never been a Mexican-based team in North American major league sports.

NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum recently said. “Expansion is currently not on the docket, but at some point, if we were to turn to expansion, there’s no doubt that Mexico City would have to be one the cities that would be in consideration along with a host of other very big and relevant cities in North America. One of the biggest challenges around international expansion has always been the travel issues, the facility issues. But there is a world-class facility in Mexico City, which is where we’ve been playing our games and our global games in Mexico. And that’s actually the home of the G League team, the Capitanes.  And so that’s not an issue.” But there is an issue that the NBA would need to address. The U. S. State Department has put out a travel warning for Mexico City. Visitors should “exercise increased caution due to crime” in the city. Mexico City is the sixth largest city in the world with 22 million people, but does it have enough pesos for the NBA?

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