According to sports columnist Paulina Benavente out of Mexico City, the Thunder will head south of the border for one contest in the 2017-18 season. Oklahoma City will take on the Brooklyn Nets on December 7 in the Mexican capital.
— Paulina Benavente (@pbenaventeg) August 8, 2017
In a release from the organization, GM Sam Presti said, “We’re excited to be asked to participate in the NBA Mexico City games 2017 as the NBA expands its global reach. As we enter only our 10th season of Thunder basketball in Oklahoma City, we feel incredibly fortunate that our team and fan base will get to experience our first regular-season game abroad.”
The NBA has made an effort to reach the Mexican market in recent years, with Mexico City living on a short list of locations believed to be in consideration should the league decide to expand into foreign territory. The city has shown an ability to drive ticket sales when the opportunity presents itself, as Suns/Mavericks and Suns/Spurs were both attended by more than 20,000 fans in the 2016 Mexico City games — a near capacity crowd in the 22,000 seat Ciudad Mexico Arena.
In January, Commissioner Adam Silver said of possible expansion south of the border:
“In terms of a franchise in Mexico City, it’s something that we’re going to look at. 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. Clearly coming to Mexico City just because of the huge population here in Mexico but in essence as a gateway to the rest of Latin America could potentially be very important to the league. You clearly have a beautiful state-of-the-art arena here, and you can tell by ticket sales that we have the interest. So that’s something that we will continue to look at.”
More to come as the official schedule takes shape.