The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they will return to the Bell Centre in Montreal on Friday, October 19 at 7 p.m. for a preseason game against the New York Knicks. The game will be part of the first NBA Canada Series with the Minnesota Timberwolves playing host to the Detroit Pistons on October 24 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
The NBA Canada Series marks the first time games are being held in the country as part of the league’s marquee international slate, which includes NBA China Games, NBA Europe Live and NBA Mexico Game.
The Raptors and Knicks played in front of a sold out Bell Centre (22,114) on October 22, 2010. The Raptors won 108-103.
“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 Montreal and Winnipeg closer to the game and showcase the dedication of our players on and off the court.”
“evenko is proud to again welcome the NBA to the Bell Centre. The hosting of this match greatly contributes to the development of basketball in Quebec at a professional level but also at an amateur level due to our involvement in several of our province’s various sports associations,’’ said Jacques Aubé, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of evenko.
2012 NBA Canada Series:
|New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors||Oct. 19||Montreal||Bell Centre|
|Detroit Pistons vs. Minnesota Timberwolves||Oct. 24||Winnipeg||
Tickets for the Knicks-Raptors game go on sale Saturday, July 14 at noon. Tickets are available at the Bell Centre Box Office, by phone (514) 790-2525 or 1 (877) 668-8269 or online at www.evenko.ca. Ticket prices range from $14 to $551 (service fees and taxes included).
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 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 NBA regular season games in London in 2011. In addition to Montreal, the New York Knicks have played preseason games outside of the United States four times, with games in Barcelona in 1990, Mexico City in 1993, 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.