The Thompson Sports News

Raptors to call Tampa home for rest of season

The Toronto Raptors aren't going back to Toronto this season.

 

The team said Thursday it will stay in its adopted home of Tampa, Florida, because of ongoing challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic and how that affects the process of crossing the border between the U.S. and Canada.

 

The Raptors are 6-5 in their “home” building this season, Amalie Arena, which they're sharing with the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

 

Toronto made the move south last fall, knowing Thursday's decision was a real possibility. The land border with Canada remains closed to nonessential travellers who are not Canadian citizens. And Canada requires those entering the country to isolate for 14 days, which wouldn't be feasible for NBA teams. The Canadian government has also strongly discouraged nonessential travel for any reason.

 

Tampa also has the reigning Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, and the Tampa Bay Rays played in the World Series last season.

 

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