LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – Nashville has joined the list of American cities that could serve as a temporary home base for the National Basketball Association’s Toronto Raptors, The Athletic reported.
The 2019 champions are expected to start the new NBA season playing outside of Canada because of travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. This is similar to what happened with Major League Baseball team Toronto Blue Jays, who played their home games in Buffalo, New York.
Other cities reportedly under consideration by the Raptors include Tampa, Florida, and Kansas City, Missouri.
The Athletic reported that Raptors officials visited Nashville last week and toured the Bridgestone Arena, where the Predators of the National Hockey League play. The arena also frequently hosts Southeastern Conference basketball games and was scheduled to host the conference tournament when the pandemic forced the cancellation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association season in March.
The 2020-21 NBA season tentatively is set to begin on Dec 22.
The Athletic said being a relatively short flight from the other cities in the Atlantic Division – Boston, Brooklyn, New York and Philadelphia – is an important consideration for the Raptors.