Magic will host Bulls, Jazz in Mexico City in December

Aaron Gordon

The Orlando Magic will face the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz in a pair of games in Mexico City this December, the National Basketball Association announced Tuesday.

The Jazz last played in a preseason game at Mexico City versus Dallas on October 5, 2003, in front of a sellout crowd of 20,092 fans. A 2013 game between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City was postponed due to smoky conditions inside the Mexico City arena, the result of a fire in the building. 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.

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Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel notes that the DeVos family - owners of the Magic franchise and co-founders of Amway - had a hand in Orlando's decision to play in Mexico City.

Both of Orlando's games in Mexico City will be broadcast live on ESPN.

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The Magic will sacrifice two homes games off their schedule to play the games in Mexico City, just like the team sacrificed a home game for the London game a few years ago. The enthusiasm and dedication of every Mexican fan resulted in a multiyear partnership, that will see future games played in Mexico City over the next several years. We can now include a more extensive relationship with Mexico.

"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. The NBA regular season schedule is expected to be released by the end of this week. While our home town is Chicago, the Bulls are fortunate to have fans around the world and we are excited to take our team on the road and help bring the NBA-game experience to Mexico City. This year, on December 13 and December 15, the league will play two more.

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Orlando has long had interest in playing games internationally.

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