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Local Jurassic Parks: Cities capitalizing on basketball fandom
All aboard the hype train: the Toronto Raptors are in the finals for the first time and they’re playing well.
Raptors fandom has spread across the country as casual fans are doubling down on Canada’s only NBA team, and cities are harnessing the craze.
Kitchener bar Bobby O’Briens hosted the city’s very own Jurassic Park viewing party for the Raptors big game one win against the Golden State Warriors. Fans were out in full force cheering on Canada’s team as they made history.
“After the big win on game 6 we thought why not to our own Jurassic Park, we've got the Jumbotron,” explains the restaurant’s vice president of operations Darryl Moore. “So we just hit the ground running Monday morning in cooperation with the City of Kitchener.”
He says that there was a waitlist for two hours before the game began.
Now, the City of Waterloo and Guelph are planning around what some feel is inevitable: for the Raptors to drop at least one of its games against Golden State.
Waterloo announced Friday that it would be hosting its own public viewing party in Waterloo Public Square, which has been dubbed “WE THE NORTH square” for the event.
“It’s taken a little bit of time for us to make sure we have all the right partners around the table and to be able to find funding because we’re going to be bringing in a gigantic inflatable screen,” explains Tracy van Kalsbeen with the Uptown BIA.
If it goes to game five, fans can watch the June 10 game live at 9:30 p.m. The city also has plans in the works if the series goes into game seven.
In Guelph, meanwhile, Mayor Cam Guthrie says the city doesn’t have the equipment or money to play the games in the downtown game.
Instead, he’s calling on the community in hopes of partnering with the city to host Guelph’s own Jurassic Park party for games four through seven.
He estimates it would cost between $3,000 and $5,000.