SBD/August 21, 2014/Facilities

Raptors' New Practice Facility One Vote Shy Of Toronto City Council Approval

The Raptors are "one council vote away from a new practice facility at Exhibition Place" near downtown Toronto, according to Don Peat of the TORONTO SUN. Toronto City Council exec committee members "unanimously approved" MLSE’s plan to build a $30M (all figures C) practice center at the city-owned site, and MLSE President & CEO Tim Leiweke "wants it ready in time" for the '16 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto. City Council will "debate the deal next week." Under the proposal, MLSE would "foot the $30-million bill to construct the facility and pay Exhibition Place annual rent that would start at $205,000." MLSE has also "agreed to make the majority of the daytime and evening basketball court time at the facility available for 'community use' through the city’s parks department" (TORONTO SUN, 8/21). The GLOBE & MAIL's Elizabeth Church notes MLSE will "rent the facility for 20 years," and during that time, the Raptors "will have exclusive rights to use two-thirds" of it. Leiweke said, "Now we have a home for the Raptors; we have a home for Canada Basketball. Now we just have got to go build it" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/21).
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