International

NBA signs deal to play preseason games in Abu Dhabi

FILE - The NBA logo in shown on a basketball court in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., in this Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, file photo. Pacers coach Rick Carlisle says his new team has a “very high” vaccination rate but declined to give a specific number because of privacy concerns. He did say Monday during NBA media day that all members of the Indiana coaching staff are fully vaccinated. Carlisle is back in Indiana, where he coached from 2003 through 2007. Training camps open Tuesday and the pandemic will affect a third NBA season and already means some players will be missing on media day.(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool, File)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The NBA is bringing two preseason games to Abu Dhabi next season, marking the first time the league will play in the Arabian Gulf.

The games will be in October 2022. The exact dates and the teams involved have not been announced.

No preseason games have been played outside of North America since 2019 because of the pandemic, though the league has said for months it was targeting a return to overseas games in 2022.

“Abu Dhabi is a vibrant multicultural hub with a demonstrated track record of hosting world-class sporting events,” said NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, who was in Abu Dhabi to sign the league’s multiyear agreement with tourism officials there.

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