The NBA will not play games on Nov. 8 in the United States this year to encourage fans to vote in the midterm elections.
The 30 teams will instead play on November 7, a day before the United States goes to the polls on November 8.
“The scheduling decision was born out of the NBA family’s desire to promote nonpartisan civic engagement and encourage fans to plan their vote in the midterm elections,” the league said in a statement. statement.
“Over the next few months, teams will be distributing information about their state’s voting process and voter registration deadlines and are encouraging everyone to share this information with family and friends to ensure they have all a plan.”
The league hopes that teams “will use the matches played platform [the day before Election Day] amplify each team’s work to promote civic engagement in their respective markets and share our partners’ important voting resources.
All 435 House seats and 35 of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs this year. In addition, 36 out of 50 states will elect governors.
The majority of Democrats in Congress is currently wafer-thin, with the Senate split 50-50 and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s control of the House resting on a narrow margin.
This isn’t the first time the NBA has sought to encourage Election Day voting, with many teams turning their facilities into voting centers in 2020.
Star players such as LeBron James have also been involved in ballot campaigns, with the four-time NBA champion previously urging his supporters to register for the 2020 presidential election.
The league has never scheduled games around an election, traditionally only missing Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and, occasionally, around the NCAA men’s basketball championship game.