NewsHillsborough County


Amalie Arena's new safety measures in place as Toronto Raptors begin season

Posted at 3:32 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 18:03:22-05

TAMPA, Fla. — The Toronto Raptors court is down at Amalie Arena, and the NBA team practiced on it for the first time Thursday.

The home of the NHL Stanley Cup Champions Tampa Bay Lighting is now temporarily the Raptors home court.

The 2019 NBA Championship banner is even hanging from the rafters.

Amalie Arena staff has been working for months to brings fans back here safely.

Officials say they’ve put extensive measures in place to reopen the building.

You’ll notice touch-less ticket scanners, Plexiglass at the concession stands and social distancing signs.

Only 3,800 tickets will be sold for the regular-season games.

RELATED: Toronto Raptors plan to host limited number of fans for games

Also in place, the arena’s HVAC system they say is hospital-grade with "increased filtering and bi-polar ionization to limit the spread of pathogens."

“When we came back we knew we had to have the safest and healthiest building in North America. That was our mandate here. And so we've been working with our health officials with USF Health, TGH, and Advent Health, to make sure we had the right guidelines. We're going by the CDC guidelines as well as their recommendations, to make sure this was the safest building you've ever been in," said Vinik Sports Group CEO Steve Griggs.

Tickets went on sale for some of the Raptors games Thursday.

The season opener versus New Orleans on December 23 is sold out.

Masks are required while inside the arena, except when you are eating or drinking.

These same safety measures will be in place when the Lighting returns, although the NHL has yet to set a return date.

"You know with the NBA being in here they have a lot of protocols and procedures as well that they've laid on us. And we're gonna use those exact same protocols and procedures for the NHL so we feel very confident that we have with both teams being in here and having all these safe and healthy measures put into place that we're going to be in a great place for the fans," said Griggs.