The Toronto Raptors have announced that they will play down south in Tampa, Florida for the 2020-2021 season.
Struggles emerged about coming to a deal with the Canadian government to play in Toronto with concerns being raised about opening the borders for 72 games amidst the second wave of COVID-19.
Talks had began at local provincial and federal levels with productive conversations being held regarding the protocols suggested. The timing of the season drawing closer and the situation in Canada worsening led the talks to come to a close.
Other cities in consideration included Kansas City, Buffalo and Nashville.
There are still issues regarding the venue where they will play. The Amalie Arena is the largest venue in the city and has hosted March Madness games in the past and is home to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Raptors using this arena could run the risk of interfering with the NHL’s schedule.
The team has committed to starting in Florida but will evaluate the situation mid-season. As it stands now, the Toronto Raptors are heading down south.