SALT LAKE CITY — Hola.
Members of the Utah Jazz may want to brush up on their Spanish.
Players will be making a trip to Mexico City this winter for a regular season basketball game versus the Orlando Magic on Saturday, Dec. 15.
The contest will be held at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City as part of the NBA Mexico City Games 2018. Orlando will also face the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, Dec. 13.
Action will be broadcast live on ESPN and on NBA League Pass International.
The league has also agreed to a multiyear partnership with Zignia Live to play future games over the next several years in Mexico.
“The Utah Jazz are excited to play in Mexico City and are proud to represent our fans and the NBA on a global stage,” said Utah Jazz president Steve Starks. “This will be our fourth time playing in Mexico and first time back in 15 years. Our organization thanks the NBA and the people of Mexico City for this unique opportunity.”
Utah tipped off the 1990-91 season by splitting a pair of international games in Tokyo, Japan, against the Phoenix Suns. Those games were the first time an American sports league played regular-season games outside of North America as the Jazz went on to reach the postseason for the eight consecutive year.
The Jazz last played in a preseason game at Mexico City versus Dallas on Oct. 5, 2003, in front of a sellout crowd of 20,092 fans.
More than 18,000 fans also witnessed the Jazz in Mexico City on Oct. 26-27, 1996, in games versus Dallas and Phoenix.
Jazz guard Raul Neto even assisted with the fifth annual Americas Team Camp June 18-21 at the NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico City this summer.Comment on this story
So, although this trip will mark the franchise’s first regular-season game at this particular site, it certainly isn’t uncharted territory for the organization.
“Returning to Mexico City for two regular-season games this season reinforces our commitment to growing basketball in Mexico and Latin America,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “NBA teams have been playing in Mexico for more than 25 years, and the Bulls, Jazz and Magic organizations are excited to continue the tradition of bringing the live game experience to our passionate Mexican fans.”