Spurs/Wolves Game in Mexico Postponed Due to Smoke in the Arena

by December 05, 2013
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A generator malfunctioned during pregame warmups, causing the historic Spurs/Wolves game in Mexico City Arena to be called off on Wednesday night. Per the Express-News: “The game — originally slated to be just the second regular-season game in NBA history to be played on Mexican soil, and the first for the Spurs outside the U.S. or Canada — will be rescheduled in Minneapolis for a later date, the league said. It was a disappointing night for the NBA, which had billed the game as an attempt to open further inroads in Latin America, and an embarrassing one for Mexico City, which opened the sparkling new arena in 2012 in order to host events such as this. Wednesday’s game was to be the first of two regular-season contests slated for non-traditional NBA markets this season. Atlanta and Brooklyn face off in London on Jan. 16. The game was approaching a sellout — the venue holds 22,300 — and vendors selling bootleg Spurs merchandise lined the streets heading to the arena several hours before game time. The atmosphere was festive. San Antonio mayor Julián Castro, who has made relations with Mexico a focus of his administration, was on hand to commemorate the history-making occasion. ‘Big disappointment for the sellout crowd at Mexico City Arena,’ Castro tweeted. ‘Saw tons of @spurs jerseys. #GoSpursGo.’ Shortly after 7 p.m., about an hour and a half before tipoff, smoke began billowing into the arena bowl through a duct in the ceiling, and half the building lost power. Some players continued warming up on the court for about 20 minutes before being evacuated. Spurs players heading out to the court reported the foul-smelling smoke wafting into their locker room. ‘The film projector was going,’ forward Matt Bonner said, ‘and all you could see was smoke.’ No injuries were reported during the incident.”