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NBA’s Toronto Raptors to start out the season in Tampa Bay as a result of Covid-19

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NBA's Toronto Raptors to start the season in Tampa Bay due to Covid-19

Serge Ibaka #9 of the Toronto Raptors grabs the rebound in the course of the sport in opposition to the Boston Celtics throughout Sport Seven of the Jap Convention SemiFinals of the NBA Playoffs on September 11, 2020 at AdventHealth Enviornment in Orlando, Florida.

Andrew D. Bernstein | Nationwide Basketball Affiliation | One other Billionaire Information

The Toronto Raptors will begin their 2020-21 common season in Florida after the Canadian authorities mentioned they cannot play video games within the nation as a result of Covid-19.

Raptors president Masai Ujiri mentioned the staff “labored diligently” on a security plan to play on the staff’s residence court docket, Scotiabank Enviornment, however the staff wasn’t in a position to persuade officers to permit play.

“These conversations had been productive, and we discovered sturdy assist for the protocols we put ahead,” Ujiri mentioned in an announcement. “Finally, the present public well being scenario dealing with Canadians, mixed with the pressing want to find out the place we are going to play means that we’ll start our 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida.”

Amalie Enviornment, residence to the Nationwide Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning franchise, will function the probably website to host Raptors video games.

The information did not come as a lot of a shock with Covid-19 circumstances on the rise within the U.S. On Friday morning, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced the nation will prolong its Canada-U.S. border restrictions because of the pandemic.

The nationwide seven-day common of day by day new infections within the U.S. is now greater than 161,100 circumstances. Whereas circumstances are rising, Florida is among the few states that stay open for sports activities occasions with spectators.

Tampa Bay will even host the Nationwide Soccer League’s Tremendous Bowl LV on Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium. The NFL says it would have 20% capability for the sport and won’t settle for money at its occasions.

The Raptors, who received the NBA Finals in 2019, aren’t the one staff that could not safe approval. Main League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays performed its 2020 regular-season in Buffalo. The NHL obtained approval to play its bubble in Canada, however groups remained within the nation with out touring.

“We need to thank all ranges of presidency and their public well being officers for his or her dedication to this course of and for taking care of the well being of Canadians,” Ujiri mentioned. “We decide to persevering with our work collectively, planning for a secure return to play in Toronto. And as a corporation, we stay dedicated to doing all we are able to to advertise and exhibit public well being measures to assist fight the unfold of COVID-19 in Canada.”

The NBA will begin its new marketing campaign on Dec. 22.