The National Basketball Association (NBA) will not schedule any games on Election Day this season, in hopes that the move will encourage staff and fans to vote in this year’s midterm races.
“The scheduling decision came out of the NBA family’s focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections,” the league said in an official statementThe entire NBA schedule will be released one day before the release date.
In addition to not scheduling games for Tuesday, November 8 — the day on which all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs, along with 36 seats in the Senate — the NBA will also encourage teams to share information with fans about specific elections, including voter registration deadlines.
Every team in league will also be playing the day before Election Day in an activity that is being billed at a “civic engagement night” to highlight the importance of voting.
Currently, there are only a few days each year when NBA teams don’t compete, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and the NCAA Division I basketball championship in the spring. For more information, see the following: professional sports league with 30 teamsEach play must be viewed separately 82 regular season gamesIt is a significant scheduling feat to ensure there are no games during Election Day.
“It’s unusual. We don’t usually change the schedule for an external event,”James Cadogan, the Executive Director of the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition, said to NBC News. “Voting and Election Day are obviously unique and very important to our democracy.”
If we do something that some might call a symbol, I would say that’s a good symbol. If we were discussing getting out, registering, voting and making your voice heard in any way you believe is most important, these are symbols that I believe most people can and will support.
The league plans to partner with cities where its teams play to use arenas and other facilities for election-related purposes — similar to what it did during the 2020 presidential election.
NBA teams didn’t play on Election Day in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many teams and players used the cancellations of games to encourage people voting. some arenas were used as registration and/or voting centers.
The league played on average five games each election day in the six pre-COVID-19 elections and the midterm elections that followed. ESPN reported.
Midterm election years typically have a low turnout, but turnout may increase this time around due to the importance of this year’s races.
Voter turnout in the 2014 midtermIt was 36.7 percent. The 2018 midterm saw a turnout of 50 percent. This was the highest level of participation in a non-presidential election for over a century.
Recent presidential elections have seen a much higher voter participation. In 2016, for instance, 55.7 percent of Americans voted, while 2020 66.8 percent of Americans turned outTo cast a vote in the presidential election.