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RAPTORS CANCEL PLANS FOR ARENA; LOOK TO NEW SITES
Published October 12, 1994
In a "major turnaround," the Raptors have cancelled their plans to build a $100M, 20,500-seat arena at the Toronto site of Bay and Dundas streets because the site is too small to hold a multi-use arena. The facility was originally intended for only the NBA team, but Raptors Presideent John Bitove said since then, "things have happened ... and the economic impact of having a hockey team in the building is dramatic." Bitove said the hockey tenant could be the Maple Leafs, but also didn't rule out an IHL team. "A source said Bitove has been approached by the IHL about placing a team in his new building" (Christie & MacLeod, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/12). The announcement set off new speculation as to where the Raptors will play on a permanent basis -- and with the team hoping to start construction next summer, "there isn't much time." The Raptors are looking at two downtown sites and two parcels elsewhere in the Metro area, though Bitove has expressed his desire to stay in the city. The Raptors will open at SkyDome in November '95, and plan on moving into their own facility for '97-'98 (Jim Byers, TORONTO STAR, 10/12).