The first-ever historic NBA India Games between the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers will go down at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai.
Located in Worli, the Dome is an indoor arena with eight green rooms and a stadium area of nearly 1 lakh square feet. Since its opening in 2012, the arena has played host to all types of events from weddings to conferences to carnivals to award shows to sports events, just to name a few.
As per their Managing Director Mazhar Nadiadwala, the vision for the arena was to be "THE" destination in Mumbai.
Before the jump ball of Game 1 on October 4, NBA.com got a chance to speak to Mr. Nadiadwala on when the talks began to host the historic basketball game, what it means for the Dome and his belief on the impact of these games on the sport in the country:
Yash Matange: What can you tell us about how the talks of having the NBA India Games at the Dome were like? When did the talks begin?
Mazhar Nadiadwala: Basketball is one of the most popular sports abroad, with a huge fan base in the US and Internationally. Therefore, talks about a sporting event like the NBA, which is the most popular league of basketball not only in the US but also across the world, was a great opportunity for us.
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It's been more than a year since talks began about getting NBA to India in Dome. We have gone above and beyond to ensure that the NBA receives the best possible hospitality in terms of comfort and requirements.
Matange: How proud does it make you feel knowing that the Dome is part of a historic event like the NBA India Games?
MN: Being the venue partner for an event of this stature makes me immensely proud, also because I am a fan of the game myself.
Above: An image of the Dome in the evening sky.
Sports is very close to every Indian's hearts, and we are elated to be the partner for NBA's first-ever games in India, especially since it is already known to have an established fan base in the country.
Matange: What do you believe will be the impact of these NBA games on the sport in this country the sport?
MN: I think the NBA is the first step towards recognizing basketball as a professional game in the country. We already have so many sports, from cricket and football to kabaddi, representing the country at an international level.
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We hope that this NBA event will encourage and motivate India to take basketball more seriously, especially the youth in the country. It is another stepping stone to make our venue and our country even more prominent on the map internationally in the world of sports.
With this season they will make the first entry into India with playoffs between the popular teams Sacramento and Indiana. I am sure once NBA, as well as its fans, experience these games, they will only want to see new matches thus making the NBA bring more matches to be played at Dome! That will be the day!
Looking forward to supporting and proudly hosting more of the NBA at our venue.
For more updates and stories on the NBA India Games 2019, you can follow NBA.com's page dedicated to the historic event.