Timberwolves vs. Spurs Postponed in Mexico City Due to Smoke in Arena

Tim KeeneyContributor IDecember 4, 2013

AP Images

Wednesday night's game between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City was delayed when the power went out and Mexico City Arena filled with smoke due to a generator malfunction. After attempting to restart, the game was eventually called off. 

The NBA's Twitter feed made it official, noting that the makeup game, which doesn't yet have a date, will be in Minnesota:

Tonight's @Spurs/@MNTimberwolves game has been postponed due to a generator malfunction which produced smoke inside Mexico City Arena. 1/2

— NBA (@NBA) December 5, 2013

The date for the rescheduled game, which will be played at Target Center in Minneapolis, will be announced at a later time. 2/2

— NBA (@NBA) December 5, 2013

All fans, players and staff were then forced to evacuate the arena. The players, still in uniform, went straight to their buses outside. Ric Renner of Fox Sports Southwest and Brett Poirer of Sheridan Hoops provided a couple pictures of the bizarre scene:

Spurs/Twolves may b delayed...reports a fire in an elevator..smoke in Mexico City Arena pic.twitter.com/LXVIZvWR8E

— Ric Renner (@RicRenFSSW) December 5, 2013

The scene at the Spurs/Wolves game in Mexico City right now. Heavy smoke, arena has been evacuated. pic.twitter.com/ZPM1lsfEJ6

— Brett Poirier NBA (@BrettNBA) December 5, 2013

This is a real unfortunate set of circumstances for all involved. Playing in Mexico was a good opportunity for the NBA to further increase its international brand, but this is pretty much as bad as the experiment could have gone. 

Mexico has hosted preseason and regular season NBA games since 1992. Last season, the Hornets knocked off the Magic in a preseason game on October 7.  

The NBA has done quite a bit of global outreach this year. In the preseason, the Thunder and 76ers played in Turkey, Spain and England. The Rockets and Pacers played in the Philippines and Taiwan. The Bulls and Wizards played in Brazil. And the Warriors and Lakers played a pair of games in two Chinese cities. The Hawks and Nets are also scheduled to play in London on Jan. 15. 

The Spurs will now head home to host the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, while the T-Wolves welcome the Miami Heat Saturday night as well.