NBA

Toronto Raptors will start 2020-21 NBA season playing in Tampa

Unable to secure a plan with Canadian health officials due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toronto Raptors will call Tampa, Florida home to begin the 2020-21 NBA season, the team announced Friday,

"We commit to continuing our work together, planning for a safe return to play in Toronto," team president Masai Ujiri said in a statement. 

The new NBA season starts Dec. 22 with each team playing a 72-game schedule.

"We know we have the best fans in the NBA," Ujiri said. "For now, I'll ask you to cheer us from afar and we'll look forward to the day we are together again."

The team is expected to play home games at Amalie Arena, home of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Toronto Blue Jays were also unable to play home games in Canada in 2020, and wound up spending the shortened MLB season playing out of the club's Class AAA stadium in Buffalo.

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