The Toronto Raptors won’t be starting the 2020-21 season in the city of Toronto due to the Canadian government’s decision.
The Raptors had to submit a request to Canada’s federal government to play at their own home arena this coming season. But the request was denied because of Canada’s pandemic protocols. The organization now has to find a new home to play at for the 2020-21 season.
The Raptors have reportedly already made a decision on where they’ll be playing next season. Toronto will begin the 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida, per NBA reporter Malika Andrews.
Three NBA teams will now be playing in the state of Florida this upcoming season, including the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and now the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors will begin the 2020-21 season in Tampa, Masai Ujiri says in a statement.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) November 20, 2020
There’s always a chance Canada changes its restrictions at some point during the 2020-21 season. Doing so would likely allow the Raptors to return home to Toronto. But for now, they’ll be spending the season in Tampa.
The 2020-21 NBA season is fast approaching. There was some speculation it would begin in mid- to late-January. Instead, the league will start in late December just before the holidays. Of course, there’s some concern last season’s playoff teams won’t receive the rest they need.
As for the Raptors, they’ll now be tasked with relocating in time for the upcoming season. Tampa will be their new home for the time being, unless Canada changes its pandemic protocols.