NBA avoids scheduling regular season games on Election Day

The NBA is free on Election Day.

According to the league schedule for the upcoming season, all 30 teams will play on November 7, the night before the midterm elections. The NBA hopes teams will use that night as an opportunity to encourage fans to get out and vote, and to increase the need for community engagement.

But on November 8, Election Day, no NBA teams have scheduled games. Teams are encouraged to share election information, such as registration deadlines, with their fans in the weeks leading up to November 8.

“The scheduling decision stemmed from the NBA family’s focus on promoting impartial civic engagement and encouraging fans to plan to vote in midterm elections,” the league said Tuesday.

All 435 seats in the US House are up for grabs on November 8, along with more than 30 seats in the US Senate and gubernatorial races.

The move is a rarity for the league, which typically doesn’t play games on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and tries to avoid scheduling games on the day of the NCAA men’s basketball championship game — often the first Monday in April. It also has a few days off built up around the All-Star Game, which takes place in February.

The NBA and its players were openly involved in several election-related actions in 2020, largely as part of the response following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, which rekindled the quest to eliminate racial inequality and police brutality.

Many players, including LeBron James, were involved in voting registration and other get-out-the-vote initiatives. Some teams turned their arena into registration or voting centers.

The full NBA season schedule will be announced Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET.

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