NBA games have been played in Mexico for a quarter of a century and the league, eager to grow the sport worldwide, is “going to look at” the possibility of establishing a franchise in that country, according to commissioner Adam Silver.
Silver said on Saturday when the Phoenix Suns played their second of two games in a week in the Mexican capital that there were no immediate plans to expand the NBA and the next step should be to increase the regular-season games in the region.
“In terms of a franchise in Mexico City, it’s something that we’re going to look at,” Silver was quoted as saying by nba.com.
“This is a competitive market, well over 20 million people. While we have no immediate plans to expand the NBA, one of the things that we look at is whether expanding would be additive to the league as a whole.”
The Suns played the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday and the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, marking the first time that two regular-season games were hosted in Mexico during the same NBA season.
A sellout crowd of 20,532 watched the Suns edge the Spurs 108-105 at Mexico City Arena, the biggest attendance achieved so far for a National Basketball Association contest in Mexico.
“Clearly coming to Mexico City just because of the huge population here … (and) as a gateway to the rest of Latin America could potentially be very important to the league,” said Silver.
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“You can tell by ticket sales that we have the interest.”
“We’ve had these two regular-season games, and whether we bring additional regular-season games in the next season or do some sort of tournament … that’s something that we’re looking at.”
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in St. Augustine, Florida; Editing by Larry Fine)