One of the NBA’s biggest problems next season will be dealing with COVID-19. The unfavorable disease situation can make international flights from the US to Canada unfavorable and that directly affects the only Canadian team in the NBA – Toronto Raptors.
Trước khi có quyết định chín thức của Ban tổ chức, Raptors đã ráo riết săn tìm những địa điểm có thể trở thành sân nhà mới. Ban đầu, đội bóng này được gợi ý thi đấu tại Kansas hoặc Louisville. Tuy nhiên, quá trình đàm phán tại Kansas không tiến triển, trong khi các cầu thủ Toronto Raptors không muốn tới Louisville vì đây là nơi diễn ra vụ giết hại Breonna Taylor.
However, it seems that GM Masai Ujiri and his associates have found a suitable location for a new home field, that is, Newark, New Jersey. The Toronto Raptors are negotiating to play at Prudential Center with a capacity of 19,000 seats.
Geographically, this is the perfect choice as the Raptors play in the Atlantic with football teams like the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks or the Philadelphia 76ers. New Jersey is very close to the headquarters of these clubs, reducing pressure to move.
Besides, New Jersey is a not small market and was also the place where the Nets team chose to be home for a long time. The re-emergence of a local football team can revive the love of NBA in the hearts of fans here, thereby increasing Raptors income during a difficult year.
The Raptors are not the only professional sports team to bring home from Canada to the US because of the COVID-19. At the American Major Baseball Tournament, Toronto Blue Jays played most of their home games last season in New York.