Kansas, Missouri’s Congressional members invite NBA’s Raptors to Kansas City

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Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) reacts after hitting a three-pointer during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — It’s a full-court press from Kansas and Missouri’s Congressional members to temporarily bring the Toronto Raptors to Kansas City.

Lucas made it clear on social media over the weekend that he’s trying to give Kansas City a shot, and the Chiefs star QB Patrick Mahomes even joined in on the fun.

But on Tuesday, Congressional delegates from the two states joined with Lucas in a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the Raptors owners, urging them to select Kansas City as a home away from home.

Kansas City and the T-Mobile Center have been mentioned recently as a possible U.S. base for the team if the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hamper travel across the U.S.-Canadian border.

In the letter, Lucas along with U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan) and U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) said Kansas City would make a great home for the Raptors.

“Kansas City sports fans are unmatched, already providing an avid fanbase for the Chiefs, the Royals, Sporting — and would be eager to extend that support to the Raptors,” the members wrote. “Our T-Mobile Center, a first-class arena located in the heart of downtown, would make a great home for the Raptors as they look to match last season’s impressive winning record.”

The delegates also noted Kansas City’s growing population, streetcar access for the T-Mobile Center and “food, attractions and entertainment for basketball fans of all ages.”

Kansas City was previously an NBA city, hosting the Kings until 1985. A temporary run with the Raptors could be a dress rehearsal, of sorts, to bring another NBA team back permanently should there be a league expansion or a team switching cities.

But even with the delegates letter, there are no guarantees.

The NBA just finished its 2019-2020 season earlier this month, which was delayed by the virus. The league has not settled on when to start it’s 2020-2021 season, and there are no guarantees what border travel will look like when it does.

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