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Following the success of the NHL’s Winter Classic and MLB’s Field of Dreams game, the NBA is looking to get in on hosting games at non-traditional venues.
According to NBA Executive Vice President Evan Wasch on The Crossover podcast, the Association continues to explore the feasibility of outdoor games or even setting up a hardwood floor someplace other than the league’s current arenas.
Per Wasch (h/t NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman):
“The biggest concern is the basketball one you highlight, that whether it’s blacktop and injury concerns or a wooden court outside with humidity concerns and moisture that can get on the court, being beholden to rain, all of those of things become a consideration.
“We’ve explored it, and we’ll continue to talk about it. Obviously, the “Field of Dreams” game was incredibly successful. So, no surprise it has sparked some discussions, and it’s worth exploring. But the logistical challenges of a basketball game outside are just significantly more than a baseball game, which, of course, is already outside.”
Figuring out how to safely host an NBA game in a non-traditional venue is by far the hardest par. The simpler part is picking a location for where to do it.
New York City’s iconic Rucker Park in Harlem immediately comes to mind. So does Chicago’s Grant Park, the Santa Monica boardwalk in Southern California, Miami’s South Beach and any of Indiana’s corn fields.
As long as the NBA is ready to experiment, the league’s imagination should be its only constraint.