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NBA to build sports/entertainment complex in Beijing

Oct 11, 2012, 6:24 PM EDT

Beijing skyline Getty Images

The NBA is serious about expanding into the Chinese market.

That is more than just a couple preseason games — the Heat beat the Clippers in Beijing early Thursday and they meet again this weekend in Shanghai — and having players go over there on shoe company sponsored tours. They have an official NBA office in China and now they are about to have an actual footprint.

The NBA is actually building a sports/entertainment complex, reports the New York Times.

The N.B.A. Center — a basketball extravaganza that will include a gym and an N.B.A.-themed cafe, a restaurant and a store as well as an interactive gaming area and a children’s zone — will be placed at the center of a $1.5 billion, 800-hectare, or 2,000-acre, property development being built by a Chinese company….

Why China? As always just follow the trail of money.

China is already the second-biggest market for the N.B.A., after the United States, and it is a key to the league’s international strategy, with revenue of more than $100 million for the past year, according to analysts.

And with the size of China, the growing middle class in that nation and a growing love of basketball there, this makes a lot of financial sense. The league plans to build more than one eventually, league officials said.

Doing business in China and understanding the market there are not simple, but the league is committed to it, clearly. Because you don’t see them building like this in Europe or Mexico.

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