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Silver Confirms NBA’s Interest in Mexico Team

  • Commissioner Adam Silver said Mexico City is "doing all the things necessary."
  • Mexico City is North America's most populated city.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaking at podium ahead of NBA game in Mexico City
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Mexico could join the U.S. and Canada as countries with NBA teams.

Ahead of Saturday’s Miami Heat-San Antonio Spurs game in Mexico City, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that Mexico City is “doing all the things necessary to demonstrate to the league that ultimately we may be positioned to house an NBA team here.”

“There’s no doubt we will be looking seriously at Mexico City over time,” he said.

Silver acknowledged logistical concerns that have come with NBA teams in Canada, but also referenced Mexico City’s population, facility, and fan support as arguments in its favor.

  • Mexico City is the most populated city in North America with an estimated 9 million people.
  • Mexico City Arena seats 22,300 fans — while United Center, the NBA’s largest arena, seats nearly 21,000 for Chicago Bulls’ games.
  • There are reportedly around 30 million NBA fans in the country.

Las Vegas and Seattle are often considered other possible contenders for a new franchise, but the league hasn’t added a team since 2004.

San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns players run past half court in front of NBA Mexico City game logo in 2019

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Prioritizing Pennies

NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told Front Office Sports that expansion is not in the league’s immediate plans — a new collective bargaining agreement and media rights deal are taking priority.

The NBA will seek $50 billion to $75 billion for its next media agreement. Amazon NFL host Charissa Thompson “absolutely” believes the tech giant can handle it.

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