The Mexico City Capitanes of the G League are as close to the NBA as Mexico gets at the moment. But that could perhaps change.
It appears the Capitanes are showing the NBA that pro basketball in Mexico City can do well, and now, Mexico City should be considered a legitimate contender for an expansion franchise, ESPN’s Marc J. Spears said on NBA Today.
“From what I’m hearing, (NBA deputy commissioner) Mark Tatum said Mexico City is in consideration. So move to the side Las Vegas. Move to the side Seattle,” Spears said, via RealGM. “Mexico City, which also can open a door to Latin America, is a legit contender when the NBA talks expansion.”
The Capitanes are drawing around 8,000 fans at Arena CDMX. That’s actually a very good crowd for minor league basketball. So it could safely be assumed an NBA team would do well there.
Still, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has indicated expansion isn’t likely to happen until after the next broadcast rights contracts are settled in 2024-25.
Tatum seconded that in an interview with Spears for Andscape.
“Expansion is currently not on the docket, but at some point, if we were to turn to expansion, there’s no doubt that Mexico City would have to be one the cities that would be in consideration along with a host of other very big and relevant cities in North America,” Tatum said. “One of the biggest challenges around international expansion has always been the travel issues, the facility issues.
“But there is a world-class facility in Mexico City in Arena CDMX, which is where we’ve been playing our games and our global games in Mexico. And that’s actually the home of the G League team, the Capitanes. And so that’s not an issue.
“And the travel is not an issue. It’s a pretty short flight for several of our teams, particularly our Texas teams, our Florida teams, our New Orleans team. Arizona actually is a pretty short flight. So, those are all the kinds of things that we would take into consideration, and for those reasons you’d have to consider it. But again, I’d say it’s not immediately on the docket right now.”
An NBA team in Mexico City? @MarcJSpears says expansion is a real option ?
"Move to the side Las Vegas. Move to the side Seattle. Mexico City … is a legit contender when the NBA talks expansion." pic.twitter.com/NjGxeAejmg
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) November 14, 2022