Etihad Arena on Yas Island to host games on Oct. 6, 8
NBA teams Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a couple of preseason games in October.
“The Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks will play two preseason games at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 6 and 8, 2022,” the NBA said on Twitter on Tuesday.
“The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 will mark the league’s first games in the United Arab Emirates and the Arabian Gulf,” it said, adding that tickets for the games will go on sale at a later date.
The NBA Europe and Middle East director said that bringing the Hawks and Bucks to the UAE is “an important milestone in the NBA and basketball’s global growth.”
“In addition to the games, we look forward to engaging fans through a variety of interactive events and giving back to the local community through NBA Cares initiatives and youth development clinics that will teach the sport and its values to young boys and girls,” Ralph Rivera remarked.
The top-tier basketball league has a project – the NBA Global Games – as the teams play outside the US and Canada to revive and spread the passion of NBA in other countries or continents.
In recent years, Mexico City, London and Paris hosted a few NBA games in regular seasons.
The Hawks and the Bucks are not the only NBA franchises to play the 2022 preseason games outside the US and Canada.
The Golden State Warriors and the Washington Wizards will visit Japan in late September to play two preseason games at Saitama Super Arena.
In a statement in March, the Warriors said that they will take on the Wizards “as part of the NBA Japan Games 2022 Presented by Rakuten”, and the games will be on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2.
Both teams will visit Japan for the first time.
Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce company, has been the Warriors’ sponsor since 2017. As part of their collaboration, the NBA team has “Rakuten” patch on their jerseys.