The Toronto Raptors will be heading to Florida to begin the 2020-21 NBA season.
The Toronto Raptors were dealing with a unique situation when it came to planning for the 2020-21 NBA season. Canada is not allowing non-essential travel and that would complicate teams heading to Toronto to play the Raptors.
The Blue Jays already played their 2020 season in Buffalo to make things easier and the Raptors will open their season with a new home as well. They will be heading a bit further south and calling Tampa home, at least to start the season.
Raptors heading south
Tampa is suddenly the center of the sports world in 2020. The Lightning won the Stanley Cup and the Rays made it to the World Series. Now the Raptors have a chance to represent the city on a temporary basis after already spending time in Florida during the summer in the Orlando bubble.
The team is set to play in the Lightning’s home arena and it will be interesting to see if they attempt to have fans at games. Some individuals may just want to attend a live event in general, given it is allowed by the municipality.
Playing in the United States helps avoid any issues and seemed to be a given once the Blue Jays were forced to do the same. Doing this could help grow the team brand and perhaps Tampa becomes a basketball town.
There are so many unknowns heading into the winter regarding COVID-19 and it appears the Raptors are holding out hope they can return to Toronto at some point during the season. Doing so would likely mean we move past the worst of the pandemic and would be a signal that hopefully things are turning for the better.