November 20th – The Toronto Raptors will begin the NBA season in Tampa, Florida next month due to travel restrictions imposed by the Government of Canada due to an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ultimately, the current public health situation facing Canadians, coupled with the urgent need to decide where to play, means starting the 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida.” Said Masai Ujiri, president of the Raptors. Said in a statement Friday.
Toronto was aiming to host home games for weeks on other sites, such as Sunrise, Florida, home of the Florida Panthers in the NHL. But as soon as the next NBA season began, the Raptors were forced to make a decision.
The NBA’s only Canadian team, the Raptors, will play home games at the Amalie Arena, home of Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
The NBA will release the first half of the 2020-21 schedule around December 1st. The second half of the schedule will be released in January or February, and if a coronavirus occurs, the Raptors may return to Toronto at that time. The associated restrictions are relaxed.
“We are currently away from our home and our fans,” Ujiri wrote in his statement. “They say that absence will make you love your heart. I don’t know if that’s possible for us. We love Toronto and Canada and we know we have the best fans in the NBA. For now, please support us. We look forward to the day when we and we will be together again from afar. “
Other US cities interested in serving as temporary housing for the Raptors this season were Nashville, Tennessee, Newark, NJ, and Kansas City, Missouri.
Toronto Raptors play home game in Tampa to start 2020-21 season
Source link Toronto Raptors play home game in Tampa to start 2020-21 season