Updated Aug 16, 2022 - Sports

NBA won't hold regular-season games on Election Day

Registrants sign in to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
Registrants sign in to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse event in Cleveland to encourage voters. Photo: Megan Jelinger/AFP via Getty Images

The NBA announced Tuesday it will not hold any regular-season games on Election Day this year.

Driving the news: Instead, the NBA said it will promote "nonpartisan civic engagement" and encourage fans to make plans for themselves and their families for voting in the upcoming midterm elections.

  • The regular-season games on Monday night before Election Day on Nov. 8, 2022, will be used to share information about voting, the NBA said in a statement to Axios.
  • In the months before the midterms, NBA teams will share information on their state's specific voting process and voter registration deadlines, the league said.

What's next: The full NBA schedule for the 2022-23 season will be released Wednesday, Aug. 17.

What they're saying: "The NBA is creating a culture of political participation, which extends not only to its athletes, but to fans as well," Vote.org CEO Andrea Hailey said in a statement emailed to Axios. "Players, coaches, event staff and fans all deserve to have the time and space to make their voices heard at the ballot box. The league is setting an important precedent that I hope other businesses and leagues will follow."

  • “Whether it’s through paid time off, reducing working hours or the intentional scheduling of professional sporting events around Election Day and voting, every organization can play their part in increasing voter turnout.”

The big picture: Voting became a major issue for the NBA in the aftermath of the 2020 summer protests, Axios' Kendall Baker writes.

  • The NBA's bubble season during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic featured a number of commercials and advertisements to help people register to vote.
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