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RAPTORS GO 2 FOR 2: FRESH OFF TICKET SALES, ARENA DEAL DONE
Published December 22, 1994
The Raptors announced yesterday that not only did they surpass the NBA minimum of 12,500 season-tickets, but also that they "firmed up" their plans for a new arena. The team reached an agreement "in principal on basic business terms" with Canada Post on a downtown site, just blocks away from SkyDome. The Raptors will reportedly pay $30M up front, and $1.5M per year for the next 20 years to develop a four-acre parcel of land for their 22,000 seat stadium. Payments would increase if the Raptors bring in new tenants, such as a hockey team. The team faced a league-mandated deadline of December 31 to finalize its arena plans, and the annoucements yesterday marked a big day for the Raptors. Raptors Stadium Director Jay Cross said many obstacles remained, but he was hopeful that "arrangements should be in place by next summer, with construction to start in the fall" (Bill Harris, TORONTO SUN, 12/22). The site, "nestled beside the heavily travelled Gardiner Expressway, has high billboard value." The team is expected to sell name rights to a corporate buyer who could become a "fixture on the skyline" (James Christie, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/22). TICKETS: Raptors President John Bitove announced that the team received deposits on 15,127 season-tickets, well over the 12,500 mark. As reported yesterday, the team received a large boost for Shoppers Drug Mart who purchased up to 4,250 tickets (Chris Young, TORONTO STAR, 12/22).