Magic will play Bulls, Jazz in Mexico City

Utah Jazz to play first-ever regular season game in Mexico City during 2018-19

Players will be making a trip to Mexico City this winter for a regular season basketball game versus the Orlando Magic on Saturday, Dec. 15. "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 is the third consecutive season that the league will play two regular-season games in Mexico City.

The games will be the 27th and 28th National Basketball Association games played in Mexico City since 1992, the most anywhere outside of the US and Canada.

Aaron Gordon, Mohamed Bamba and the Magic will face Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and the Bulls on December 13, followed by a game against Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and the Jazz on December 15, the league said.

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.

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"Having played in England twice, Japan, China, Mexico and Brazil, the Orlando Magic are always honored to participate in the NBA's Global Games", said Magic chief executive Alex Martins. "From our previous experience of playing in Mexico City, we know the passion of the fans and look forward to this fantastic opportunity".

But this is the most important worldwide (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.

Orlando has long had interest in playing games internationally.

It will hurt to sacrifice a few home games in Orlando, but it is also a chance for a bit more worldwide exposure for the Magic and some national exposure too. According to K.C. Johnson from the Chicago Tribune, the tentative opening for the Bulls regular season schedule has Bulls playing the 76ers on October 18, with a home opener against the Hornets two days later. Season ticket holders will be reimbursed the price of those two games.

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