The Washington Wizards will play a regular season game outside of North America for the first time in franchise history when they face the New York Knicks in London on Jan. 17, the NBA announced Wednesday.
“It will be an honor to represent the Washington Wizards organization as we play our first game in the UK,” Wizards guard John Wall said in a news release. “I look forward to connecting with our fans in London and using the experience to further bond as a team.”
The game will be considered a home game for the Wizards and will be played at The O2, a 20,000-seat arena in southeast London. It will be the NBA’s ninth regular season contest in England’s capital city since 2011 and the third involving the Knicks. The league has also hosted six regular season games in Mexico City during that span as part of its “Global Games” series.
“We’ve been playing regular season matchups in London for nearly a decade, and over that time the games and the surrounding festivities have grown into the equivalent of an NBA all-star experience transported to Europe,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a news release. “Fans and partners from across the continent come to celebrate basketball and enjoy the excitement and experience of an NBA game.”
The Wizards franchise has previously played several preseason and exhibition games outside of North America. After the Bullets won the NBA title in 1978, owner Abe Pollin took the team to Israel. The following year, the Bullets became the first U.S. professional sports team to visit China. The Wizards’ most recent trip outside of North America was for a 2013 preseason game against the Bulls in Brazil.
Tickets for the Wizards-Knicks game in London will go on sale in the fall.
More on the Wizards: