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Fans Can't Go To Toronto Raptors Games In Tampa Anymore Because Of Rising COVID-19 Numbers

Florida reported 15,121 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

Torontonians who can't watch the Raptors games in person might feel a little better knowing that neither can people in Tampa.

In a statement made on Saturday, the CEO of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Steve Griggs, announced they would be closing the Amalie Arena for both Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Raptors games because of rising COVID-19 numbers in the area. 

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We are hopeful to reopen the arena soon after we see declining rates and better overall numbers. Steve Griggs

The Raptors are playing their home games at the arena because the Canadian government won't allow them to travel back and forth over the border.

But nobody — Torontonians or Floridians — will be able to watch their games until at least February 5, when the arena will re-assess their decision to close.

"As we review current data and COVID-19 modelling for the next few weeks in the Tampa Bay area, we do not believe it is prudent to admit fans inside the arena at this time," said Griggs in his statement.

"Because of the increasing numbers and the rising positivity rates we are not comfortable bringing large numbers of fans indoors to watch hockey or basketball right now," Griggs added.

According to Florida Health, the state saw 15,445 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, January 9.

The Toronto Raptors have had a rough start to the season, going 2-6 so far and losing two of their three games in front of the Tampa fans.