Buffalo Trying To Lure Raptors For A Few Pre-Season And Regular Season Games
Turnabout, they say, is fair play.
Which may explain efforts in Buffalo to get the Toronto Raptors to play some pre-season and regular season contests there. The Buffalo News and New York State Senator Chuck Schumer are backing an idea to get this city's NBA franchise to travel south of the border and get in a few games in down there.
The publisher of the News, the largest paper in that city, admits the idea came to him after a deal was worked out allowing the Buffalo Bills to play a few similar contests at the Rogers Centre.
So far, the reverse is only in the planning stages, but all those involved seem to think it's likely to happen. The News quotes publisher Stanford Lipsey as saying the Raptors are "very interested" and that the preseason tilts could come to the Queen City as soon as 2009. He calls it a 'reciprocal' deal that would benefit both teams and both cities. Games would be played at HSBC Arena, the home of the Sabres.
Supporters believe it would expand the fan base and get Americans coming here to see the Raptors. Many Canadians already make it a point to journey to Buffalo to see the Bills, the closest NFL franchise in this part of the world.
Buffalo hasn't had an NBA franchise since 1978 when the Braves left town for San Diego. The team only lasted seven years.
There's been no comment from the Raptors on the current reports.