Kansas City Rumors
Mayor Quinton Lucas also sent KMBC 9 a statement, saying, “I commend our civil rights organizations for reminding our city and those beyond that preservation of Black lives should be a most pressing concern for our community and our partners. Unfortunately, like Toronto, Chicago, Philadelphia and most NBA cities, we have much work to do in ensuring all our Black neighbors feel safe in all interactions with law enforcement. Regardless of our future with the NBA, we remain committed to that essential work.“
Three civil rights groups in Kansas City are cautioning the NBA against considering KC as a temporary home for the Toronto Raptors for the upcoming season. The Urban league of Greater Kansas City, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City, Missouri chapter of the NAACP wrote a letter to the NBA commissioner.
The Raptors have also discussed playing in Tampa Bay or Nashville or as tenants in another NBA team’s arena, according to a source. Kansas City pitched its T-Mobile Center. Louisville was floated and reportedly shot down. There’s been speculation about the team moving over the border to Buffalo, just like the Toronto Blue Jays during the last MLB season. While some of those destinations offer a warmer climate, none can match the geographical sense of The Rock.
Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas has been in talks with the Toronto Raptors to potentially host the team should they be unable to play next season at Scotiabank Arena due to the Canadian government’s COVID-19 rules — the same rules that recently forced the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto FC to find new homes to complete their campaigns.
The mayor said there’s been mutual interest between his city and the Raptors themselves, although the latter’s primary focus still lies in figuring out a way to play their games at home in Toronto and will only look for a home-away-from-home if necessary. “Thus far, I think we’ve received a response that the Raptors are continuing to work with the NBA, with the federal government in Canada and the federal government in United States to try to first, as a priority, be able to play in Toronto,” said Lucas. “And so I know that continues to be their preference. We’re just trying to make sure that we’re an option in the event that they’ll need us.”
If Kansas City is able to showcase itself as a good spot for the NBA once again, that’s an added bonus for Lucas, too. “Of course, not unlike Oklahoma City some years ago, we want to have an opportunity to show a brand presence that (indicates) Kansas City is an impressive international city in its own right. And in the event that there’s ever talk about relocation, then we should be at the top of the list for any other teams. I don’t think that you’d ever see relocation for the Raptors, but, you know, maybe there’ll be others in the future.”
Lucas, thinking about the T-Mobile Center and fan support and even the Chiefs’ recent ascent, was all in. First, he sent out a tweet, sparking excitement. Then, days later, Lucas’ phone started to buzz once more. This time, folks were leading Lucas to a tweet that had been sent out by Chiefs superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The reigning Super Bowl MVP similarly was vying for the Raptors to call Kansas City their temporary home. “It got some traction,” Lucas said. “It’s Patrick Mahomes.” Lucas grew enthralled with the idea, asking himself this question: “What do we have to do to make sure our ducks are in a row?” He called officials at the Kansas City Sports Commission. He called Missouri and Kansas delegations, both Republicans and Democrats, and gauged their responses — and it was all positive.