First NBA Canada Series features preseason games in Montreal and Winnipeg

TORONTO, July 10, 2012 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) will hold the first-ever NBA Canada Series this October with NBA teams playing preseason games in Montreal and Winnipeg.  The Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks will play at the Bell Centre on Oct. 19, and the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons will play at the MTS Centre on Oct. 24.

NBA Canada Series marks the first time games are being held in the country as part of the league’s marquee international preseason schedule, which has historically included NBA China Games, NBA Europe Live and the NBA Mexico Game.

“NBA Canada Series demonstrates the NBA’s commitment to grow basketball in Canada and bring more live games and events to our growing fan base in the country,” said Dan MacKenzie, Vice President and General Manager, NBA Canada. “The inaugural event will bring fans in the provinces of Quebec and Manitoba closer to the game and showcase the dedication of our players on and off the court.”

2012 NBA Canada Series 

New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors Oct. 19 Montreal Bell Centre
Detroit Pistons vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Oct. 24 Winnipeg MTS Centre

In addition to on-court action, NBA Canada Series will feature a variety of events off the court including NBA Cares community outreach activities and interactive fan events.

The Toronto Raptors have played preseason games in 11 Canadian cities outside of Toronto since 1995.  In 2007, the team traveled to Rome, Italy and Madrid, Spain for NBA Europe Live.  Most recently, the Raptors played the New Jersey Nets in the first-ever NBA Regular Season Games in London in 2011.  The New York Knicks have played multiple preseason games outside of the United States, with games in Barcelona in 1990, Mexico City in 1993, Ottawa in 1996, Montreal in 2010, and Milan and Paris as part of 2010 NBA Europe Live.

In 2002, the Minnesota Timberwolves played their first international preseason game in the Dominican Republic, followed by games in Istanbul and London for 2007 NBA Europe Live, and games in London and Paris as part of 2010 NBA Europe Live.  The team also traveled to Tokyo, Japan for the 1999 Regular Season Opening Games. The Detroit Pistons have played two preseason games outside of the United States, first in Mexico City in 1995 and again in Puerto Rico in 2006.

The 2012 NBA preseason will also include four games in Europe as part of NBA Europe Live presented by BBVA. The Dallas Mavericks will play games in Germany and Spain, and the Boston Celtics will play games in Turkey and Italy.  To date, the NBA has staged 107 preseason and regular season games in 17 countries and territories across Europe, the Americas and Asia.

About the NBA in Canada
The NBA, founded in 1946, is a professional sports league and global business that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada. During the 2011-12 season, more than 300 games were broadcast nationally in Canada on TSN, TSN 2, The Score, Rogers Sportsnet, Sportsnet One and NBA TV Canada.   The NBA has 11 marketing partners in Canada with adidas, Coca-Cola, Cisco, Gatorade, Haier, HP, Nike, Right Guard, Take Two Interactive, and Spalding. NBA 3X, a grassroots fan event and 3on3 tournament, will visit six Canadian cities this offseason.  Through NBA Cares, the league, its teams and players have donated more than $165 million to charity, completed more than 1.7 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 700 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play.