Raptors leaning toward Tampa if temporary home needed

Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry dribbles upcourt during a game against the Celtics.

Tampa, Fla., is emerging as the most likely temporary home for the Toronto Raptors, according to an in-depth report from Michael Grange of SportsNet.ca.

That is, of course, if the Raptors are unable to play games in Toronto — their first choice. But the pandemic may not make that possible. With just more than a month left before the start of the 2020-21 season, the Raptors will have to make a decision soon.

“If we can get it done in Toronto, we’d to it tomorrow,” Grange quoted a Raptors team executive as saying.

Grange also also exchanged emails with the executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.

“Ideally, the Raptors are able to play their upcoming season in Toronto,” Rob Higgins of the TBSC told Grange. “But should that not be possible, we would have a strong interest in working to successfully meet and exceed their expectations as an alternative host. We’ve enjoyed our preliminary conversations with their organization and stand ready to assist if needed.”

Along with Tampa, a number of other cities have been mentioned as possible hosts for the Raptors. The list includes Nashville, Kansas City and Newark, N.J.

One thing the Raptors don’t want to do, per Grange, is hold training camp in Toronto and then play home games somewhere else. Camp is scheduled to begin Dec. 1.

“If we’re here for training camp, we’re here for the season,” Grange quoted a source as saying. “We’re not going to come back and then have to find another place to play.”

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of Amico Hoops. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for both Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and NBA.com.

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