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Raptors to play games without any tickets sold to fans for next three weeks

The new facade design of the Scotiabank Arena formerly Air

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA - 2020/07/14: The new facade design of the Scotiabank Arena formerly Air Canada Centre. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

LightRocket via Getty Images

It’s going to feel a little bit like 2020 in Toronto the next few weeks.

Complying with a new rule from the government in the province of Ontario that limits venues such as the Scotiabank Arena to 1,000 people, the Raptors (and NHL’s Maple Leafs) will not sell tickets to games for at least the next three weeks.

This will go into effect for Friday night’s game against the Clippers. The Raptors have six home games over the next three weeks.

The goal of the regulation is to slow the spread of COVID by reducing the number of large gatherings. Recently, the sale of food and drinks during games at the Scotiabank Arena had been stopped to allow stricter enforcement of a mask mandate.

The 1,000 people allowed in the arena for games will be made up of team staff and tickets given to family and friends of players.

Last season, the Raptors played in Tampa Bay because of COVID travel restrictions into Canada. This season they are the only team (at least so far) to play in front of reduced crowds.