Raptors to play in front of fans again as Amalie Arena plans to open doors

The Toronto Raptors during a game in Tampa, Fla. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

The Toronto Raptors will have fans in the building for their home games at Amalie Arena starting March 19, as the Tampa venue plans to open its doors to a limited crowd later this month.

The team and arena announced Monday that 3,500 fans will be permitted to attend Raptors games starting March 19. The Raptors have 18 games remaining at Amalie Arena this season.

The Raptors had fans in attendance for their early slate of games to start the campaign, before rising COVID-19 case numbers in Florida forced Vinik Sports Group — owners of the venue — to shut the door once again.

Per a release, increased safety measures have been put in place at the arena to promote physical distancing.

"The health and safety of fans, staff and the teams were prioritized in the process with local healthcare and government officials to determine the protocols for welcoming guests back to AMALIE Arena," the team said via a release.

The Raptors take on the Utah Jazz at Amalie Arena on March 19, with a home game against Atlanta and a three-game road trip to get through first.

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