Raptors Receive Green Light to Play in Canada Again

Kyle Lowry with Raptors in 2016
Kyle Lowry with Raptors in 2016. Photo by Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock

After playing the 2020-21 NBA season in Tampa Bay, the Toronto Raptors are returning home. The team announced on Friday that they have received a green light to play their games in Canada from the Canadian government.

The Raptors shared the news on social media by posting their NBA preseason schedule that will see them play two games at their Scotiabank Arena.

The preseason opener against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 4th will be their first home game since February 2020. The Raptors will also open the regular 2021-22 season in front of their home fans, playing against the Washington Wizards.

Due to coronavirus pandemic-related travel restrictions, the Toronto Raptors did not receive clearance to host other teams in their home arena for the 2020-21 NBA season. This forced the team to find an alternative home in the United States, settling for Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay after also considering Nashville, Kansas City, and Buffalo.

Away from home, the franchise didn’t have the best of campaigns. The team struggled with injuries for the better part of the season and finished No. 12 in Eastern Conference with a 27-45 record. This was the team’s worst outing since 2011-12 and first season under head coach Nick Nurse that they didn’t make it to the postseason.