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Why the Raptors picked Tampa as their temporary home

Why the Raptors picked Tampa as their temporary home”

The Toronto Raptors have been looking for a new home for the 2020-21 season after the Canadian government denied them the ability to play home games at Scotiabank Arena.

Like the Blue Jays past year, who home'd in Buffalo (and might have to do so again in 2021), the Raptors may will have to find a temporary home for the upcoming season.

"We commit to continuing our work together, planning for a safe return to play in Toronto", team president Masai Ujiri said in a statement. "These conversations were productive, and we found strong support for the protocols we put forward".

A federal government source, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly on Friday, confirmed the team was denied.

Steven Stamkos, captain of the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, welcomed their new neighbors with a play on their familiar slogan.

The federal government denied the Blue Jays' request to play in Toronto this year because health officials didn't think it was safe for players to travel back and forth from the USA, one of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The team had said it needed to know this week with training camp less than two weeks away. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. We love Toronto and Canada, and we know we have the best fans in the National Basketball Association. "For now, I'll ask you to cheer us from afar and we'll look forward to the day we are together again".

The Raptors, the NBA's lone Canadian team, and the league needed an exemption to a requirement that anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must isolate for 14 days.

He thanked government officials for helping ensure the safety of Canadians during the health crisis. Kansas City, Newark, Buffalo and Fort Lauderdale were also among cities reported as potential homes for Toronto.

The Raptors had hoped to start the 2020-21 campaign at home despite rising numbers of COVID-19 cases at home and in the United States.

It was probably a long shot, but Kansas City won't serve as a temporary home for the Toronto Raptors in the 2020-21 National Basketball Association season.

The Raptors are more than familiar playing games the sunshine state following the resumption of the past National Basketball Association season that saw every team play at an alternate training site in Orlando.



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