Toronto Mayor John Tory Doesn’t See Sports Returning Until the Fall
If the Toronto Raptors hope to finish out their NBA season, it will more than likely be on American soil.
As team players and personnel begin to return to their practice facility, the OVO Athletic Centre, on a limited basis while continuing to practice the provincial social distancing guide laws, Toronto Mayor John Tory doesn’t foresee professional sports returning to Toronto until the Fall.
“I would just say to people, don’t hold your hopes out that you’re going to see professional sports played in Toronto, even in front of an empty stadium, before sometime into the fall,” Tory told Writers Bloc on Friday.
Tory has already spoken to several Toronto team leaders, including Raptors president Masai Ujiri.
“On the basketball front, there really hasn’t been any sort of specific discussion with us about how you would play games in front of no fans and make sure you complied with public health,” said Tory. “We haven’t been asked to come to grips with that, just because nobody’s asked. Nobody’s said, ‘Okay, we are going to be a hub, we’re going to play these games here. What are the rules gonna have to be in order to keep everybody safe?”
Tory isn’t ready to take any chances with the people of Toronto.
“In Toronto, in stadiums, even without spectators, there’s probably a way to work it out – subject to all those questions that I asked earlier about contact between players, size of teams, arrangements on the bench,” he said. “As time goes on, if you were saying ‘OK, in September there’s a chance we could have some of that,’ I would not say no.”
Better safe than sorry!