Toronto Raptors

Raptors to reduce Scotiabank Arena attendance by 50 percent due to COVID-19 surge

The Toronto Raptors will reduce fan capacity by 50 percent at Scotiabank Arena effective Saturday, the team announced today.

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The decision comes after new restrictions were announced by the province of Ontario due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

"As announced by the province this afternoon, capacities for events at MLSE venues, including Maple Leaf and Raptors games at Scotiabank Arena, will be reduced to fifty percent capacities effective Saturday as we all work together to prioritise public health with increasing COVID-19 cases in Ontario, MLSE announced in a statement.

"As has been the case throughout the pandemic, MLSE remains fully supportive of the province's decision, and we continue to work closely with our government and public health partners to protect against the spread of COVID-19 within our community."

The arena will also implement enhanced mask protocols that will require "all attendees to strictly adhere to all mask-wearing protocols or risk ejection from the building."

Last season, the Raptors were forced to play the entire season in Tampa Florida, due to travel restrictions at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, in 2021-22, they had been playing with 100 percent capacity crowds at home, requiring all fans in attendance to be vaccinated if eligible for the vaccine, while masks have been required whenever fans were not actively eating or drinking.

The announcement comes just days after the Raptors' home game against the Chicago Bulls was postponed following a COVD-19 outbreak within the Bulls organisation, with 10 players entering the league's health and safety protocols.

The new restrictions will come into effect for the Raptors' next home game scheduled for Saturday against the Golden State Warriors.

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