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Arena evacuated after fire, Spurs-Timberwolves game in Mexico City postponed


UPDATE 9:46 p.m.: The NBA later issued an official release detailing the postponement:

“The National Basketball Association game scheduled for tonight between the San Antonio Spurs and the Minnesota Timberwolves has been postponed due to a generator malfunction which produced smoke inside Mexico City Arena.

“The date for the rescheduled game, which will be played at Target Center in Minneapolis, will be announced at a later time.”

The cause of the smoke was a generator that malfunctioned and caught fire.

9:27 p.m.: The Spurs and the Timberwolves were set to play a game in Mexico City on Wednesday as part of the NBA’s Global Games schedule, but an apparent fire has caused smoke to fill the arena, and the building has been evacuated.

The conditions look pretty unsafe for an athletic competition to take place, and while the league is going to delay things as much as possible to try to avoid a cancellation, there might not be another option if the firs can’t be contained and/or the arena can’t be cleared of its smoke-filled environment.

The reporters on the ground have been doing an excellent job of providing updates; here’s a sampling of what’s been going on.

Pop says nobody should be breathing what’s in arena, let alone players exerting themselves, says game should be played in Minny on off day

— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) December 5, 2013

Wolves CEO chris wright says earliest arena could be readied is 1015 pm. Other option tomorrow nite, neither seems likely

— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) December 5, 2013

NBA official says D Stern really wants to play this game. Next update at 830 pm

— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) December 5, 2013

Just overheard Spurs team doctors say no way to playing in arena tonight, seems like teams will push back hard on playing tonight

— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) December 5, 2013

I mean, one end of the gym is enveloped in a haze of smoke. Smells vaguely of burned plastic. They can’t play like this.

— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) December 5, 2013

The NBA released a statement that only says the contest is delayed for now, and reads as follows:

“The start of tonight’s game in Mexico City between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs has been delayed due to a generator malfunction which has produced smoke inside the Mexico City Arena. Updates will be provided as appropriate.”