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Video: How does Tampa Bay feel about hosting the Raptors?

The NBA team’s first regular-season home game is tonight at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
A fan waves a Cnadian flag while watching the Toronto Raptors compete against the Miami Heat during a preseason game Friday at Amalie Arena  in Tampa.
A fan waves a Cnadian flag while watching the Toronto Raptors compete against the Miami Heat during a preseason game Friday at Amalie Arena in Tampa. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Dec. 23, 2020
Updated Dec. 23, 2020

Only in 2020 would it make sense for the Toronto Raptors to play their home games in Tampa. But due to the Canadian government’s travel restrictions, that’s exactly what’s happening.

Amalie Arena is set to be the temporary home of the Raptors through at least the first half of the season, and a lot of those who live in Tampa are excited to have a fifth pro team in the area.

While most local fans don’t know much about the city’s adopted team, they’re still excited just to be able to finally go to a live sporting event and see some of the NBA’s best in action.

There are mixed feelings surrounding the thought of permanently bringing a team to Tampa, but the 17 games the Raptors will play here will certainly give fans a taste of what it would be like.

The Raptors’ first regular-season home game takes place tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans. Out of Amalie Arena’s normal seating capacity of 20,500 for basketball, just 3,800 seats have been made available.