Buffalo Seeking to Host NBA’s Toronto Raptors This Season
If you're thinking about traveling from Utica to see an NBA game this upcoming season, your drive could be significantly reduced.
Instead of a trip to New York City or Brooklyn to watch the Knicks or Nets, you could make the easier trek west on the New York State Thruway to watch NBA hoops in Buffalo. If the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Buffalo could host an NBA team (albeit temporarily) for the first time in 42 years, when Bob McAdoo and former Buffalo State star Randy Smith starred for the Braves.
According to a report from Bufflao's WKBW, New York State Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) has sent a letter to the NBA and the Toronto Raptors, asking the 2019 NBA champs to considers turning Buffalo into their “home away from home in the event that the Canadian Federal Government declines to provide the Raptors an exception to the current ban on cross-border travel between Canada and the United States.”
Non-essential travel between the two countries has been banned due to Covid-19, and may continue as long as cases remain elevated in the U.S.
Due to the border closure, baseball's Toronto Blue Jays played “home” games at Buffalo’s Sahlen Field, home of the minor league Bisons, during the shortened 2020 MLB season.
The upcoming NBA season could begin in December 2020, and likely won’t be played in the Orlando bubble again, according to multiple reports.
The Buffalo Braves joined the National Basketball Association as an expansion team in 1970 and played played eight seasons at the Buffalo Aud. Former Syracuse star Dolph Schayes was the Braves' first coach.