If you consider yourself to be a true Raptors fan, think again! A squad of diehard Raptors lovers are already congregating outside of Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto in anticipation of tonight's game, the first of the NBA championship series against the Golden State Warriors. Outside of Jurassic Park, Raptors fans have been waiting since the crack of dawn to secure the best spots in front of the big screen.
Not only does tonight's game represent the first time the Raptors play in the NBA Finals, but it also marks the first time an NBA Finals game has been held outside of the United States.
Even though doors into the game don't officially open until 3 PM today, and tip-off isn't until 9 PM EST, fans simply couldn't wait to secure their spot in line. According to Global News, by the time the clock struck 6 this morning, 15 hours before the game begins, a large line of people was already visible outside of Scotiabank Arena.
When reporters spoke to the crowd, it seemed like everyone had already guzzled down a few cups of coffee; the group appeared energized with not an iota of lethargy in sight.
One Raptors fan, who happens to be the founder of the basketball media organization On Point Basketball, named Drew Ebanks, told Global News, "This is incredible. I mean, this is something that doesn’t happen all the time. We have the best fans in the world here."
Fans are prohibited from entering into Jurassic Park until 7 p.m. tonight, but that didn't stop them from getting their Raptors spirit on early. In this early-morning lineup, fans could be heard chanting "Let's go Raptors."
Lucky fans who lined up outside the downtown Toronto arena also got the chance to meet NBA legend Chris Bosh. Not a bad first celebrity sighting, considering it was only 8 in the morning!
If you happened to score a spot in line for Jurassic Park this morning among the countless others, you're in for a real treat. Tonight's viewing party will include unique programming, featuring special guests, a live DJ, and musical performances.
The streets surrounding Scotiabank Arena are expected to be closed by Thursday morning to ensure the party has sufficient space. Bremner Boulevard from Maple Leaf Square to Lower Simcoe Street will be blocked off, as well as York Street from Lakeshore Boulevard to Front Street.
If you're not in the downtown Toronto area tonight, there are many other viewing parties you can check out in the Greater Toronto Area, including at Mississauga’s Celebration Square, Brampton’s Garden Square, Burlington’s Civic Square and Newmarket’s Riverwalk Commons, among others.