Raptors Will Play in Tampa Bay for Remainder of 2020-21 NBA Season

Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry in 2016. Photo by Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock

The “Tampa Bay Raptors” are here to stay. At least until the 2020-21 NBA season wraps up.

The Raptors confirmed on Thursday that they would continue playing their home games in Tampa Bay’s Amalie Arena throughout the remainder of the current NBA season. According to the team’s announcement, the decision was made due to “ongoing border restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and mindful of public safety measures in Canada.”

The Raptors were forced to find a new home after it became evident that they wouldn’t be able to play their home games in Toronto and their Scotiabank Arena this season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Several cities were in play as their substitute home, including Kansas City, but the organization decided to settle in Tampa Bay.

So far, the switch has been tough on the Raptors as they had a rough start of the season. They have a 12-13 record and are currently tied for No. 5 in East with the Indiana Pacers.

“Home is where the heart is, and our hearts are in Toronto,” said Raptors president Masai Ujiri. “We think often of our fans, of our Scotiabank Arena family, and all those we are missing back home, and we can’t wait until we can all be together again.”