Toronto Raptors given green light to play at Scotiabank Arena this season

People walk past the Scotiabank Arena, where the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs play, in Toronto, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 (Nathan Denette/CP).

TORONTO --  The Toronto Raptors are indeed coming home -- finally.

A team spokesperson confirmed Friday that the team has received the green light to play at Scotiabank Arena this season, after a season spent in Tampa. Fla.

How many fans can be in attendance, however, is still to be determined.

"We are optimistic regarding our ability to host full capacity events at Scotiabank Arena,'' the spokesperson said.

The Raptors will open their pre-season against the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 4 -- their first game at Scotiabank Arena in more than 19 months.

The Raptors announced a five-game pre-season schedule on Friday that includes two home appearances. They'll also host Houston on Oct. 11.

"And as a reminder, all people wishing to access the arena -- whether to attend an event as a spectator, or as a member of the media -- will be required to show proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or proof of a medical exemption,'' the team spokesperson said.

Because of COVID-19 protocols and travel restrictions in Canada, the Raptors had to relocate to Tampa for the 2020-21 season and play home games out of Amalie Arena. They were the only team forced to relocate.

The Raptors last played at Scotiabank Arena on Feb. 28, 2020. They then departed on a five-game road trip before the league shut down on March 11 after Utah's Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

The Raptors will play at Philadelphia on Oct. 7, at Boston on Oct. 9, and at Washington on Oct. 12.

They open the regular season on Oct. 20 when they host Washington.

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