UPDATE 5:04 p.m.: There appears to be some confusion over the Toronto announcement. Blue Jays beat writer Kaitlyn McGrath is interpreting the order as related to “city-led” events, which is the language used on toronto.ca. It impacts permits and the like for events in public spaces, but not for events in private spaces like a team-owned arenas and stadiums. This would seem to leave the Toronto sports teams in the clear at some point.
There seems to be a lot of confusion on this City of Toronto announcement regarding TO sports teams. I interpret the announcement as “city-led” events or gatherings that needed a city permit. The city is cancelling their own events. This isn’t a blanket ban... https://t.co/vxjldXWdA3— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) March 31, 2020
The City of Toronto announced Tuesday afternoon that there will be a ban on public events through June 30. This would mean the Toronto Raptors would not be allowed to play games until July at the earliest due to the coronavirus outbreak.
BREAKING: City of Toronto bans all public events until June 30.— Tom Harrington (@cbctom) March 31, 2020
The NBA has stressed that it wants to salvage the playoffs and name a champion before the season ends. There has also been talk about returning to play some time in May or mid-June — both of which don’t appear to be very realistic. With this ban from Toronto, the Raptors likely wouldn’t be able to get around it. Maybe if they played without fans in the arenas, which is an idea that has been thrown around a lot since the League stopped on March 11.
Not only does this affect the Raps, but the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays also won’t be able to hold games until July. The MLB has already put pretty strict guidelines in place for their return, so this date doesn’t impact the Jays as much. The NHL recently extended its isolation plan until April 15. They seem reluctant to commit to a long-term break, but have made it clear they won’t return until this pandemic has been resolved.