Raptors To Play Preseason Games In Vancouver & Montreal As Part Of NBA Canada Series
The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they will play host to preseason games in Vancouver and Montreal in October. They will face the Sacramento Kings at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Sunday, October 5 and the New York Knicks at Bell Centre in Montreal on Friday, October 24.
Tickets for the both games go on sale Saturday, June 14. In Vancouver, at ticketmaster.ca or call 1 (855) 985-5000. In Montreal, visit evenko.ca, call 1 (800) 310-2525 or in-person at Bell Centre box office.
The games are part of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) third annual NBA Canada Series, presented by Bell. The NBA Canada series, which tipped off for the first time in 2012 and continued last year with a game between the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves at Bell Centre, will once again celebrate basketball with live NBA action, interactive fan events and community outreach programs designed to further develop the game in Canada.
“We are honoured to play host to the Kings and Knicks as part of NBA Canada Series,” said Masai Ujiri, President and General Manager of the Raptors. “Coming off an exciting 2013-14 season, we look forward to continuing to build our fan base across Canada.”
This will be the Raptors’ second preseason visit to Vancouver. They downed the host Phoenix Suns, 129-78, on October 6, 2010 with 18,123 in attendance.
The Raptors and Knicks played in front of a sold out Bell Centre (22,114) on October 22, 2010. The Raptors won 108-103. In the rematch, October 19, 2012, the Raptors defeated the Knicks, 107-88, before another capacity crowd of 22,114.
The Raptors have played preseason games in 11 Canadian cities outside of Toronto since 1995. In 2007, the team traveled to Rome, Italy and Madrid, Spain for NBA Europe Live. The Raptors also played the New Jersey Nets in the first NBA regular season games in London in 2011.
“We have recently seen huge growth in the number of Canadians playing at a high level in the NBA, and the Canada Series is one of our most important programs as it brings live NBA games to our fans outside of Toronto,” said Dan MacKenzie, Vice President and General Manager, NBA Canada. “Thank you to Montreal and Vancouver for hosting this year’s series, which features two great matchups.”
“Our partnership with the NBA is part of Bell’s commitment to continue growing the game of basketball at all levels across Canada,” said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility and Residential Services, and Chief Brand Officer at Bell. “We look forward to bringing world-class basketball to more Canadians this fall with these two preseason Raptors games in Montreal and Vancouver.”
Seven Canadian players have been drafted into the NBA in the past three years, with eight currently featured on NBA rosters. The NBA BIG Tour visited five Canadian cities last September and October, offering BIG Talent and BIG Entertainment in local markets.