A look back at Minnesota teams playing overseas

  • Updated: June 26, 2013 - 7:19 AM
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The Wild traveled to Finland in 2010, one of several international trips by local pro teams. Here, players Andrew Brunette, Drew Bagnall and Greg Zanon toured Helsinki. The Wild lost an exhibition game and the season opener.

Photo: MiCHAEL RUSSO, Star Tribune file

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Just so you know, the average high temperature in Mexico City on Dec. 4 is about 71 degrees. It’s usually sunny, rarely rains.

The Timberwolves announced Tuesday they would play San Antonio in a regular-season game in Mexico City on that date. The NBA calls it a chance to grow the game globally. Local fans might call it a chance to get out of the Minnesota winter.

It’s the latest addition to a rather long list of local pro teams playing internationally. The Vikings played four preseason games out of the U.S. between 1983 and 1994. On Sept. 29, they will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a regular-season game in London’s Wembley Stadium. (For the record: Average high 63, clouds likely, good chance of some rain).

Here is a short history of international play:

 

VIKINGS

• Beat the Cardinals 28-10 in a preseason game at the old Wembley Stadium on Aug. 6, 1983. In 1988, the Vikings traveled to Gothenburg, Sweden, where they beat the Bears 28-21 in a preseason game. On Aug. 7, 1993, they beat Buffalo in a preseason game played in Berlin’s Olympiastadion. In a preseason game played in Tokyo Aug. 6, 1994, the Vikings beat Kansas City 17-9.

 

TIMBERWOLVES

• Opened their 1999-2000 regular season with two games against Sacramento in Tokyo. Kevin Garnett scored 65 points in two games, which the teams split.

 

NORTH STARS AND WILD

• In 1980, the North Stars and the Washington Capitals had training-camp trips to Sweden, where they played both each other and local teams in exhibition games. In 1990, the Stars held part of their training camp in Russia, playing local teams in Moscow and Kiev. The Wild began the 2010-11 season in Finland, where it played an exhibition game against a local team before opening the regular season with two games against Carolina. The Wild lost both games, 4-3 and 2-1 in a shootout.

 

TWINS

• In 1993, the Twins went to Monterrey, Mexico, for two spring training games against a local team and Atlanta.

KENT YOUNGBLOOD

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