The Toronto Raptors will play out the rest of their home games at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida for the 2020-2021 NBA season, the team announced.
The Raptors ruled out a return to Canada “because of ongoing border restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and mindful of public safety measures in Canada.”
“Florida has been really welcoming to us and we’re so grateful for the hospitality we’ve found in Tampa and at Amalie – we’re living in a city of champions, and we intend to carry on the tradition of winning for our new friends and fans here,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement. “But home is where the heart is, and our hearts are in Toronto. We think often of our fans, of our Scotiabank Arena family, and all those we are missing back home, and we can’t wait until we can all be together again.”
The franchise, which was unable to play their home games in Canada due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions, hoped to return to Toronto at some point later in the season.
A schedule release for the second half of the season is expected in the coming days.