UPDATE 2:00 p.m.: The Raptors will likely use the JW Marriott as their practice facility during their stay in Tampa. It’s also the host hotel for Super Bowl LV.
Sources say the practice facility for the Toronto Raptors will likely be the new JW Marriott in Downtown Tampa. Also the host hotel for Super Bowl LV.— Collin Sherwin (@CollinSherwin) November 20, 2020
The Toronto Raptors will spend at least one season in the sunshine, as Tampa’s Amalie Arena will host the 2020-21 season for the NBA’s only Canadian franchise.
The Raptors will begin the 2020-21 season in Tampa, Masai Ujiri says in a statement.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) November 20, 2020
Due to restrictions on “non-essential” travel by the Canadian government, moving back and forth across the border would require a 14-day quarantine for both citizens and non-citizens upon arrival. This will let the Raptors play as many as 36 of their 72-game schedule in Tampa Bay.
Amalie Arena has hosted many NCAA Basketball Tournament regionals, and was just awarded the Women’s Final Four for the fourth time last month. The Raptors were in town last week looking for a practice facility, the location of which still hasn’t been announced by the team or the city.
This will preclude the NHL from using Tampa as a “hub city” for the upcoming regular season, as local officials have stated hosting both the NBA and NHL in the same building would be unsustainable during a pandemic. Tampa is also hosting Super Bowl LV the first Sunday in February.