Raptors to host limited fans for home games in Tampa Bay

Alvin Williams joined Good Show to discuss the impressive play of Malachi Flynn, and why the rookie fits in so well with other guards with the Toronto Raptors.

It won't be anything like the beloved Jurassic Park, but when the Toronto Raptors hit the court in their temporary home in Tampa Bay's Amalie Arena this season, they'll be playing in front of fans for the first time since March.

The team announced on Tuesday that a limited number of fans will be permitted to attend the club's home games for both their pre-season matchup against the Miami Heat on Dec. 18 as well as at least the first 11 games of the shortened 2020-21 regular season, which is set to tip off with a match against the New Orleans Pelicans on Dec. 23.

“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,” Tampa Bay Lightning and AMALIE Arena CEO Steve Griggs said in a statement included in a press release. “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 following safety protocols will be in place at Amalie Arena, home to the reigning Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning, for all Raptors games:

• Socially distant seat availability, with fewer than 3,200 seats available for pre-season game, and 3,800 seats available for regular-season matchups.
• No floor seats, nor will there be any seats available within 30 feet of the court.
• All fans will be required to wear a mask the entire time they're at the venue (with the exception of those under two years of age).
• Enhanced surface and air disinfection systems will be in place.
• In additional to physical distancing in the stands, fans must also distance themselves in all areas of the venue.
• A health survey screening will be conducted for all guests upon entry in the facility.
• All payments (parking lot, in-venue food and beverages) will be cashless.
• Bags are prohibited inside the venue.

“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,” Tom McDonald, vice president of MLSE ticket sales and service, said in the Raptors' press release. “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 the pre-season game, as well as regular season games through the end of January, will go on sale beginning this Thursday.

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