Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri is seen in the tunnel area ahead of first half NBA basketball action against New Orleans Pelicans, in Toronto Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. Even as the NBA's trade deadline on Thursday was approaching, Masai Ujiri has kept his priorities in order. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

‘Trying to get fans back in arena’ top priority for Raptors president Masai Ujiri

‘Trying to get fans back in arena’ top priority for Raptors president Masai Ujiri

‘Trying to get fans back in arena’ top priority for Raptors president

TORONTO — Even as the NBA’s trade deadline on Thursday was approaching, Masai Ujiri has kept his priorities in order.

“Trying to get fans back in the arena,” Ujiri said Friday when asked what was more important between fans back in Scotiabank Arena or the trade deadline.

The Toronto Raptors vice-chairman and team president held court with the media on Friday where he made clear that getting a full-capacity arena is among the very top of his to-do list.

But the Ontario government won’t lift its large-arena capacity limit of just 500 people until Feb. 21. Scotiabank Arena, home of the Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs, is included in this rule.

Ujiri is hopeful, however, these capacity restrictions might be rescinded earlier than planned.

“We’ve had conversations. MLSE is in conversations. I’ve had lots of high-level conversations,” said Ujiri.

“With these things, there are a lot of studies, there are a lot of unknowns. They tried to take their time to do the right things. The way it’s trending, I’m hoping maybe we can get back sooner than the proposed dates.”

NBA

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