Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions between Canada and the United States, the Raptors will begin the 2020-2021 season playing at home in Tampa, Florida. It’s not too far from Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando where the NBA ended the 2019-20 season in a bubble.
Masai Ujiri, president of the team’s basketball operations, said the Raptors have worked with Canadian public health officials at the local, provincial and federal levels to develop a plan that would see the team play the 2020 season. -21 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
“Ultimately, the current public health situation for Canadians, combined with the urgent need to determine where we will play, means we will be starting our 2020-2021 season in Tampa, Florida,” Ujiri said.
In July, the Canadian government denied permission for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball to host games at their Rogers Center baseball stadium in Toronto due to similar travel restrictions. The Blue Jays played their home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, during the shortened 2020 baseball season.
“We are committed to continuing our work together, to plan for a safe return to the game in Toronto,” said Ujiri. “And as an organization, we remain committed to doing all we can to promote and demonstrate public health measures to help fight the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. ”
CNN has reached out to the league for comment.
The 75th NBA regular season, reduced to 72 games for each team, is scheduled to end on Tuesday, December 22.