Toronto FC announced today that the club will make Florida its home base for the start of the Major League Soccer season.
The Reds will use the facilities at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando for training and depending on the MLS schedule dates, could play their home matches in both Orlando and Tampa. The length of TFC’s stay in Florida will be contingent upon health and safety regulations as borders re-open in Canada.
“We are unable to make BMO Field in Toronto our home for the start of the MLS Season,” said TFC general manager Ali Curtis. “But we will continue to work with local and federal officials to monitor the situation back home and return as soon as possible.”
Details of the 2021 Major League Soccer schedule will be announced at a later date.
The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday that they will finish the 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida. Because of ongoing border restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and mindful of public safety measures in Canada, the team has decided they will continue to play their home games at Amalie Arena.
“Florida has been really welcoming to us and we’re so grateful for the hospitality we’ve found in Tampa and at Amalie – we’re living in a city of champions, and we intend to carry on the tradition of winning for our new friends and fans here,” Raptors President Masai Ujiri said. “But home is where the heart is, and our hearts are in Toronto. 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.”
The Raptors initially announced in November that Amalie Arena, in downtown Tampa, would serve as their home court for the first half of the 2020-21 season. A schedule release for the second half of the season is expected in the coming days.
TORONTO RAPTORS ANNOUNCE PLANS TO HOST LIMITED NUMBER OF FANS FOR GAMESAT TAMPA’S AMALIE ARENA WITH RIGOROUS NBA AND LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH PROTOCOLS
Tickets go on sale Thursday at Ticketmaster.com for December 18 pre-season game and first 11 regular-season games
As the Toronto Raptors prepare to play home games for the opening of the 2020-21 NBA season at Tampa’s Amalie Arena, the team announced plans to host a limited number of fans beginning with its pre-season game against the Miami Heat on Friday, December 18. Tickets for the pre-season game, and the first 11 regular-season games, will go on sale Thursday morning, Dec. 17.
Fan attendance protocols will involve extensive health and safety measures, including socially distanced seat availability. There will be fewer than 3,200 seats available for the pre-season game, and 3,800 seats for regular-season games. There will be no floor seats, and no seats sold within 30 feet of the court. Additional measures include: all fans two years of age or older being required to wear a mask for the duration of their time within the venue; enhanced surface and air disinfection systems; physical distancing in the stands and while navigating the venue; a health survey screening for all guests as they enter the facility; cashless payments in the parking lot and for food and beverage services; and bags are prohibited for all Raptors games at the arena.
“In these unique and challenging times, the Raptors are grateful to be able to work closely with the NBA, the Lightning organization and local public health officials to create a safe opportunity for a limited number of fans to take in games,” said Tom McDonald, Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service for MLSE. “As the Raptors call Tampa home for the start of the NBA season, the team looks forward to the opportunity to thank the community for their support while continually emphasizing the important steps required of all of us for a full return of fans when it is safe to do so.”
Tickets for Raptors home games will be sold on Ticketmaster.com starting as low as $30 beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday with the sale of the pre-season game along with the first 11 regular seasons games through to the end of January. As an extended health and safety measure, all tickets will be accessible by mobile only.
“AMALIE Arena is thrilled to play host to the Raptors and the NBA and we are proud of our partnerships with local public health agencies that allows a safe return to live events,” said Steve Griggs, Chief Executive Officer of the Tampa Bay Lightning and AMALIE Arena. “The safety of our guests and our community is our top priority and these rigorous health and safety protocols have been put in place to ensure that our fans’ experience at AMALIE Arena is both safe and enjoyable. We look forward to a safe and successful stay in Tampa for the Raptors.”
“The Raptors worked diligently with public health officials at the local, provincial and federal level to secure a plan that would permit us to play our 2020-21 season on home soil and on our home court at Scotiabank Arena. These conversations were productive, and we found strong support for the protocols we put forward. Ultimately, the current public health situation facing Canadians, combined with the urgent need to determine where we will play means that we will begin our 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida.
We want to thank all levels of government and their public health officials for their dedication to this process, and for looking after the health of Canadians. We commit to continuing our work together, planning for a safe return to play in Toronto. And as an organization, we remain committed to doing all we can to promote and demonstrate public health measures to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.
So we’ll be away from our home and our fans for now. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m not sure that’s possible for us – we love Toronto and Canada, and we know we have the best fans in the NBA. For now, I’ll ask you to cheer for us from afar, and we’ll look forward to the day we are all together again.”