A stormy Thursday evening didn’t stop the National Basketball Association (NBA) from taking over Mexico City, as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Orlando Magic 120-119 in front of a packed crowd as the league promised more matches for Mexican fans. Does it.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sees Mexico as a gateway to further expansion of the sport throughout Central and Latin America, making it an attractive potential growth market.
“(We want) a bigger footprint in Latin America, ultimately, with the dream of one day having an NBA franchise coming to Mexico City,” Silver said at a news conference.
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“We have been quite conservative in the way we approach the league. Having said that, it is still important to plant a flag in each market. Outside the US, excluding Canada, there is no market bigger than Mexico City.
Silver said the Capitanes, a Mexico City team with an axolotl mascot that debuted in the NBA G League in 2021, is one of the ways the NBA is growing basketball in Mexico. The team became the first team from Latin America to join the minor leagues.
“Our goal is to have 30 NBA teams play here in Mexico City. (However) our schedule has become so complex that it has become more difficult to squeeze other games out of the regular season,” said Silver, who floated the idea of holding two regular season games per year in Mexico City.
Thursday’s game between the Hawks and Magic, the 32nd overall held by the league in Mexico, was preceded by Hawks center Bruno Fernando’s chant of “Viva Mexico!” Started with shouting. A minute of silence was observed for the victims of the hurricane that hit Acapulco, Guerrero last month.
Singer Peso Pluma, left, and former basketball player Scottie Pippen, center, watch the second half of the Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic at Mexico Arena in Mexico City on Thursday. , Photo Credit: AP
The festive atmosphere, with 19,986 supporters in attendance, was enlivened by the surprise appearance of former Chicago Bulls small-forward and six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen, who received a standing ovation.
a unique experience
The prospect of a Mexican franchise and more regular season games is exciting for local fans. However, he said the NBA should adjust its pricing in the country and consider bringing in bigger teams.
“We travel from Querétaro and save throughout the year to come. We have seen the growth of the league in the city and how it has improved, but they must adjust the prices to make it possible,” explained Orlando fan Carlos Alcaraz. reuters,
Prices for Thursday’s game ranged from 660 ($37.42) to 12,920 Mexican pesos ($732.51), according to Ticketmaster, while the cheapest tickets for U.S. and Canadian fixtures can range from $15 to $30.
New York Knicks fan Josue Corro said, “We have the fan base and the ideal location for the games, but the ticket price is a major issue if they are looking to expand into Mexico.”
“Still, the experience here is unique and we have the unique opportunity to see former NBA stars.”
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