Some fans are threatening to riot. 😬
The much-anticipated return of the Raptors' GOAT Kyle Lowry to Toronto could go off with a whimper rather than a shout next month following changes to the NBA's schedule and new COVID-19 health measures.
On Monday, the team announced a list of alterations to its 2021-2022 calendar. A total of six games were rescheduled, including the Raptors bout against the Miami Heat at Scotiabank Arena, which has been moved to February 1, 2022.
Got some schedule updates. \n\n https://rpt.rs/3eKEaxh\u00a0pic.twitter.com/lfkcRK8ErX— Toronto Raptors (@Toronto Raptors) 1641248485
The upcoming faceoff, which was initially set for February 3, 2022, will be Lowry's first game back in the 6ix since being traded last August.
"We will continue to work with the provincial government to reassess the capacity situation as it evolves throughout the month of January, and updates for ticket holders will be communicated as soon as possible," a statement from the team reads.
Although minor, the change seems to be worrying diehard fans who think bumping up Lowry's return game will cause him to play in an empty arena.
"Better be fans allowed for Lowry's return or we riot," tweeted one disgruntled fan.
If Lowry returns to no fans I will RIOThttps://twitter.com/raptors/status/1478129396707909636\u00a0\u2026— amber yunes (@amber yunes) 1641249082
"I really hope we can have some fans for Lowry's return. Would suck if he came back to an empty arena," added another.
On December 30, 2021, the Ontario government announced that it would temporarily reduce capacity limits on indoor sporting events to 1,000 people.
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment also announced that as of Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, Scotiabank Arena would be transitioning to "operating without any sold tickets."
At the moment, the measure is only set to last three weeks, which means the Lowry game should be in the clear.
However, the Ontario government also announced that it would be temporarily moving the province back into a modified Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen on January 5 for at least 21 days (until January 26). As a result, many indoor attractions, along with restaurants, gyms, concert venues and cinemas, will be closed.
So it's difficult to predict what exact COVID-19 restrictions will be in place at the time.