Will NBA’s ‘Court of Dreams’ dream come true?


NBA explores ‘Field of Dreams’ style outdoor game Image: basketballforever.com

Is the National Basketball Association (NBA) (US) in the outdoorsy mood?

The ‘NBC Chicago’ stated that the Major League Baseball (MLB) tasted tremendous success with last month’s ‘Field of Dreams’ game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees, which was played at an 8,000-seat stadium located in the middle of a Dyersville, Iowa (US) cornfield. The second iteration of the game is already set for August 2022, this time featuring the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.

The National Basketball Association is a professional basketball league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams and is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. It is the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world.

The Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world. As of 2021, a total of 30 teams play in Major League Baseball – 15 teams in the National League and 15 in the American League – with 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada.

The ‘NBC Chicago’ further stated that Evan Wasch, NBA Executive Vice-President, Basketball Strategy and Analytics, recently informed that the league is exploring the possibility of holding a similar type of outdoor event on the line of what the MLB did recently.

Added Wasch, “The biggest concern is the basketball one you highlight, that whether its 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 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.”

As Wasch noted, there are some legitimate logistical hurdles that come with trying to pull off an outdoor NBA game, from the playing surface to the weather and injury concerns. But the league does have somewhat recent experience with it, albeit in the preseason.

From 2008-2010, the NBA team Phoenix Suns hosted one preseason game per year at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California (US).

The Indian Wells Tennis Garden is a tennis facility in Indian Wells, near Palm Springs, California, in the Coachella Valley in United States. The 16,100-capacity Stadium 1 is the largest stadium at the tennis complex, and the second largest outdoor tennis stadium in the world.

Meanwhile, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) held a few regular-season outdoor games on aircraft carriers in the early 2010s. Dubbed the Carrier Classic, a total of three games (two men’s, one women’s) were played on ships in San Diego and Charleston, South Carolina from 2011-2012. There were two matchups in 2012, one in Charleston and another in Jacksonville, Florida, that were canceled due to condensation on the courts, and the series were then discontinued.

If the logistical issues do not prove to be too much of a stumbling block, it would be cool to see a ‘Court of Dreams’ game (maybe at Rucker Park (basketball court in New York?) come to fruition.

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