Kyle Lowry's Return To Toronto To Have HOW Many Fans?


Toronto fans had February 3rd circled on their calendars ever since the release of this year's schedule last summer, as that was the date that Kyle Lowry would be returning to his 2nd home, and the date that Raptors fans would be showering him with love and appreciation for his nine years and one championship in the city. 

Then came omicron. The crushing wave of the coronavirus variant led to the Ontario government banning fans from the Scotiabank Arena for Raptors (and Toronto Maple Leafs) games. The Raptors have played 6 home games in an empty arena since then (going 5-1). It appeared that Lowry's visit with the Miami Heat  (since re-scheduled to Feb. 1st) would be played in front of an empty arena. 

Now, however, the government has eased restrictions to the point where they will now be allowing the Raptors to open up the arena to as many as 500 fans (that's hundred, not thousand), as of Jan. 31st. 

Will Lowry make his long-awaited return to The Six in front of just 500 fans? 

He's currently out of the Heat lineup due to "personal reasons", and has missed the last two games (and will sit out a 3rd on Friday night). There are many NBA insiders who feel that "there's no way" Lowry will make his Toronto return in front of, essentially, only a handful of fans. 

While the Associated Press' Tim Reynolds says "There's no way he's making his return-to-Toronto appearance in front of 500 people," Raptors reporter Josh Lewenberg speculates that Lowry will in fact skip that trip across the border and wait for the Heat's next visit to Toronto on April 3rd — a date by which all restrictions are planned to be lifted — and the lovefest can take place in front of a 20,000 fan sellout. 

Lowry played 9 years in Toronto, helping lead them to the 2019 NBA title, and is recognized as "the greatest Raptor" of all-time.

Photo Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports