With arena deemed safe after earthquake, Miami Heat game in Mexico City in December still on

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on the devastation in Mexico City after last week’s earthquake. “When you see it on the news, you can’t even believe it’s real.” (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The NBA has given the Miami Heat the all clear to play its Dec. 9 game in Mexico City against the Brooklyn Nets.

The league said the Arena Ciudad de Mexico, where the games will be played (the Nets play the Thunder Dec. 7 in the same arena) did not suffer any damage from the magnitude 7.1 earthquake last Tuesday with an epicenter about 100 miles from Mexico City.

“Our hearts go out to the folks in Mexico City,”  coach Erik Spoelstra said today during Heat media day. “It’s horrific to see that. You can’t predict it. And when you see it on the news, you can’t even believe it’s real. So our hearts go out to them and hopefully we can do some outreach while we’re out there and make somebody’s life better while we’re there.”

Raul Zarraga, NBA Mexico Vice President and Managing Director, released a statement last week:

“First and foremost, our thoughts are with the people of Mexico during this difficult time. We have been in touch with arena officials and were told the building was not damaged by the earthquake. At this time our plan is to have NBA Mexico City Games 2017 in December as scheduled.”

Spoelstra said the Heat visited the area before the earthquake and members of the organization will be making another trip before the team arrives following its game in San Antonio on Dec. 6.

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