TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors are opening Scotiabank Arena gates 30 minutes earlier than usual for tonight's playoff game against the Philadelphia 76ers after accepting a suggestion from longtime broadcaster Jack Armstrong.
The Raptors made the announcement on social media after Armstrong made note of late-arriving crowds for previous games.
"They gotta open the gates at Scotiabank Arena earlier so people can get in there," Armstrong said. "Everybody needs to be in their seats for the start of the national anthem with 20,000 people going crazy and the crowd's gotta be a factor."
The Raptors, in response, said, "We heard you, Jack. Doors will open early at 6:30 tonight. Let's pack @ScotiabankArena for the anthem and show 'em that this is our house."
For several of the team's previous five playoff games, the seating bowl has been far below capacity just prior to tipoff.
Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal has a start time of 8 p.m. The series is tied at 2-2.
The Canadian Press