The NBA will be out on election day.
The league’s schedule for the upcoming season calls for all 30 teams to play on November 7, the night before the midterm elections. The NBA hopes teams will use this night as an opportunity to encourage fans to get out and vote and reinforce the need for civic engagement.
But on November 8, Election Day, no NBA teams have games scheduled. Teams are encouraged to share voting information – such as registration deadlines – with their fan bases in the weeks leading up to November 8th.
“The scheduling decision came from the NBA family’s focus on fostering bipartisan engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan for voting during the midterm elections,” the league said Tuesday.
All 435 US House of Representatives seats will be up for grabs on November 8, along with more than 30 US Senate seats and gubernatorial elections.
The move is a rarity for the league, which typically doesn’t play games on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and tries to avoid games on the day of the NCAA men’s basketball championship game — often the first Monday in April. It also built a few days off around the All-Star game, which is taking place in February.
The NBA and its players have been openly involved in several election-related forays in 2020, primarily as part of the response after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor reignited the quest to end racial inequality and police brutality.
Many players, including LeBron James, have been involved in voter registration campaigns and other ballot-making initiatives. Some teams turned their arenas into registration or voting centers.
The NBA’s full schedule for the season will be released Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. ET.