London

Sixers to face Celtics at London's O2 Arena

Sixers to face Celtics at London's O2 Arena

The Sixers are heading to London.

They will take on the Celtics at The O2 Arena on Jan. 11, 2018. This will count as a home game for the Sixers. CSN will broadcast the game. 

“The NBA has done an exceptional job of attracting and cultivating fans from across the world, and we’re thrilled to bring the Philadelphia 76ers to London, a special city with rich culture and tradition,” president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said.

The Sixers last played in the U.K. during the 2013 preseason as part of the NBA Global Games Manchester against the Thunder. This game will be a return to London for Brett Brown. He coached the Australian national team there for the 2012 Olympics. 

“Participating in NBA London Game 2018 is a great opportunity for our players to compete in front of an international audience at the historic O2 Arena,” Brown said. “The basketball fans there are very passionate and I am looking forward to playing the Celtics there in January.”

Tickets for the London game will go on sale in October. Because this is a home game for the Sixers, season-ticket members who have paid in full for the season have two options. They can request a refund for the game or put the charges toward a credit for future games.

The scenario is different for season-ticket members on an automatic payment plan. They will not be charged for this game and it will be removed from their plan statements in January. 

The Sixers have close ties to professional sports in London. Managing general partner Josh Harris and co-managing general partner David Blitzer co-own Crystal Palace F.C. of the EPL. Crystal Palace will play Burney two days after the Sixers’ game. 

“This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our dynamic team filled with exciting international players to a fan base that has a clear passion for world-class sporting events,” Harris said. 

Echoed Blitzer, who lived in London for 10 years, “It’s really exciting and encouraging to see the NBA continue to skyrocket in popularity internationally.”

The Sixers also are linked to London through their esports franchise, Team Dignitas, whose president and founder Michael “ODEE” O’Dell lives in the city. 

“With the support of our international fans and our family of dynamic sports and entertainment brands awaiting our arrival, we anticipate a very welcoming experience,” chief executive officer Scott O’Neil said.

The complete 2017-18 regular season schedule is expected to be released in the coming days. The Sixers will kick off their preseason action on Oct. 4 against the Grizzlies at the Wells Fargo Center. They also reportedly will play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Christmas.

Report: Sixers to face Celtics at London's O2 Arena next season

Report: Sixers to face Celtics at London's O2 Arena next season

The rivalry between the Sixers and Celtics has been dormant for a while now.

But with the Sixers now boasting a budding roster full of top-level draft picks and the Celtics adding All-Star Gordon Hayward to a team that was the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, things could heat back up between the two teams in 2017-18.

Get your popcorn ready … and your passports?

According to a report Wednesday from Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the Sixers and Celtics will face off at London's O2 Arena on Jan. 11, 2018.

“The Celtics-Philadelphia matchup will be a regular season affair — not an exhibition — and will be a 76ers home game,” Bulpett writes. “That means Philly fans will have one fewer opportunity to see Jayson Tatum and Markelle Fultz, the third and first overall picks from last month’s draft, respectively, involved in the major pre-draft trade between the clubs.”

The NBA will release its official schedule later this summer.

The Sixers-Celtics matchup would be part of the league’s Global Games initiative. Last season, the NBA held three games outside of the United States — two in Mexico City and one in London.