NBA Seeking European Markets For Regular Season Games

Orlando Magic's Paolo Banchero (5) looks for a shot against Memphis Grizzlies' Santi Aldama (7) during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

The league has scheduled one game in Europe this season.

The National Basketball Association has taken a very slow approach to holding games outside of the United States and Canada this season. The November 9th Atlanta Orlando matchup in Mexico City, Mexico and the January 11th, 2024 contest between Brooklyn and Cleveland in Paris, France are the only two games that will be played outside of the U. S. and Canada. NBA owners are still trying to figure out the Mexico City market and if the league can eventually place a franchise in the city. It is doubtful that the league will place a team in Mexico City during the next round of expansion which could come after the league finishes its cable, over-the-air and streaming video deal sometime in early 2024. It is thought the league will hand out two expansion franchises with Las Vegas and Seattle the favorites to land teams.

The league is looking at various cities throughout the European continent that could host regular season games. London was holding an annual game but the league has skipped over London and is holding its European game in Paris. The NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said the league is open to playing a regular-season game at a Madrid soccer stadium in the future. “There are other markets that we look at. Germany, Spain, Italy are important markets for us. Some of them are conditioned by the fact that they don’t have these facilities (like Madrid or London), although there are new projects. We are open to holding games elsewhere.” The late David Stern while he was the National Basketball Association’s commissioner about two decades ago said the NBA could have a European division. Initially, Stern thought that could happen by 2010 but Europe did not have enough North American style arenas to make the venture work. The NBA still does not have enough NBA style arenas in Europe.

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