Toronto Raptors to play in Edmonton Oct. 2

Edmontonians will have the chance to see the Toronto Raptors play in their own city this fall.

The NBA Canada Series is returning after three years and will feature for the first time ever a preseason game in Rogers Place in Alberta’s capital city.

The 2019 NBA champion team will take on the Utah Jazz on Sunday, Oct. 2.

It’ll be the first time an NBA game is played at the hockey arena.

The Raptors played a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets in Edmonton at the University of Alberta in 2008.

Two weeks later, the Raptors will face off against the Boston Celtics at Bell Center in Montreal on Oct. 14

Tickets for both games will go on sale Aug. 19 on Ticketmaster.

“It’s so good to once again be able to play in front of our fans across Canada,” Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to returning to Montreal, and to playing at Rogers Place in Edmonton for the first time. It’s a fantastic reminder, as we begin a new season, that we are Canada’s team, and we look forward to making Raptors fans proud, no matter where they are cheering from.”

The city’s local team, the Edmonton Stingers, is beginning a playoff run in the Canadian Elite Basketball League.

The team hopes to be league champions for the third straight year.

The team’s president says attendance is up 40 per cent this year compared with last year.

He says having the Raptors in Edmonton will increase interest in his team.

“It’s exciting because I’m sure they’ll pack Rogers, and a lot of those fans are the fans that’ll be coming to Stingers games,” Reed Clarke said.

The NBA Canada Series launched in 2012. Since then, 14 NBA teams have played in 14 preseason games in five provinces.

NBA Canada managing director said she was “immensely proud” of the impact of the series on the Canadian basketball community.

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