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Toronto Raptors Face Challenges To Remain in Canada

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With restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, the only basketball team in the Great White North may have to move for the upcoming season.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

With coronavirus restrictions in place, the Toronto Raptors are facing a tough road to stay in their home city during the 2020-21 NBA season. According to Mark Berman of the New York Post, there are several places under consideration should the team have to relocate due to Canada’s strong rules regarding quarantine due to the pandemic.

Other possible landing spots include sharing Barclays Center with the Nets, or playing in Kansas City, Mo., Seattle or the Tampa Bay area.

According to sources, those sites, including Newark, are long shots, and the likelihood of remaining in Toronto still is very much on the table.

Obviously, the team would prefer to remain in Toronto at the Scotiabank Arena, but should that not prove possible, there are lots of options. Seattle is certainly an interesting proposition, yet it remains to be seen where they would play, even without fans: Climate Pledge Arena is not due for completion until the summer of 2021, and the only other legitimate option is Alaska Airlines Arena, at the University of Washington.

In the meantime, the Raptors are trying to figure out how to stay in Toronto if they can. Such a plan might include increased testing and no fans in the stands.