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Toronto Raptors To Open Up Amalie Arena For Fans

Thomas Iacobucci/WUSF Public Media

The team announced a limited number of fans will be able to watch the Toronto Raptors in Amalie Arena starting March 19.

The Toronto Raptors will welcome fans into Amalie Arena starting next week.

According to a statement Monday, Vinik Sports Group — which owns the Tampa Bay Lightning and manages Amalie Arena — announced that it will allow 3,500 fans into the arena starting with its March 19 game against the Utah Jazz.

Safety measures will be in place, according to the statement, including cash-less transactions and physical distancing. Masks will also be required.

The NBA team announced in Nov. 2020 that it would move into its temporary Tampa home after the team's request to play in Toronto because of the coronavirus pandemic and how it affects the process of crossing the border between the U.S. and Canada.

They said in February that they'll finish up the regular season and playoffs in Tampa.

The announcement comes a week after the Tampa Bay Lightning said a limited number of fans can attend games starting with its game Saturday against the Nashville Predators.

It also comes after the Raptors postponed a couple of games earlier this month when several players and coaches tested positive for coronavirus.

Tickets for the team's 18 remaining home games will go on sale to the general public on Thursday morning.

Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays announced in February that they will play at least their first two regular season homestands in Dunedin, their spring training home.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.