Utah is trading in the Jazz for mariachi as they head down to our neighbors to the South to play a regular season game in Mexico City against the Orlando Magic December 15th, 2018. Don’t fret, Jazz fans, if you are worried that this takes away a game from your season ticket package, this is technically an away game as Orlando will be the home team. The Orlando Magic are actually hosting two games down in Mexico with the Jazz being one of their opponents.
This whole NBA series in Mexico is part of the NBA’s broader effort to soften the beach in one of North America’s largest markets. Mexico City is home to 21.2 million soon to be Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles fans. The Utah Jazz even have someone on the team whose native language is Spanish.
The last time the Utah Jazz played a game in Mexico was 2003 against the Dallas Mavericks. Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune goes more into the history.
Utah last played in Mexico City in 2003 in a preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks, and played two October games there in 1996: one against Dallas, and one against the Phoenix Suns. The Jazz won the 2003 contest and split the 1996 games.
The Jazz have traveled to other locales for preseason games before: 2009 matchups against the Chicago Bulls and Real Madrid took place in London’s O2 Arena. In 1990, they played two contests to open the regular season in Tokyo, both against the Phoenix Suns. The Jazz are welcoming two Australian teams to Vivint Smart Home Arena in 2018’s preseason as well.
But this is the latest in-season international (excluding the team’s annual trips to Canada) Jazz game ever, a regular-season matchup that will count in the real standings, not the exhibition ones. The contest will count as an away game for the Jazz and a home game for the Magic.
This trip to Mexico City actually isn’t that far either. Just hit up Google Maps and you’ll see that the Utah Jazz are saving some travel time by skipping their trip to Orlando and heading to Mexico City instead.
In addition to the game in Mexico City, the Utah Jazz will also play their first game on Christmas in 21 years. Now we await to see if Utah gets to participate in the NBA’s opening night. Does a game against Gordon Hayward and the Boston Celtics await? ...