The Raptors experience

by | Oct 14, 2022 | Sports

It was a great experience to see the Toronto Raptors in our own Rogers Place in the heart of Edmonton. From taking the crowded LRT, to watching our favourite players fight for success in the upcoming season, it was a delight to watch the whole time.

The Raptors experience started even before you got to the arena. All the LRT stations were packed with Raptors memorabilia, and the sea of Kyle Lowry jerseys seemed endless. We began  our journey at Southgate station, and the train was already crammed. As we made our way along the LRT line, we met all the ecstatic fans and learned a lot of them found their way onto the basketball scene when the Raptors won the NBA Finals in 2019. It was fun to reminisce with a lot of the newer fans on the way to the arena, because after all, we were all there for the same reason: to see our favourite players in person.

View from Emmett's seat at the Raptors game in Edmonton
The view from my seat. Photo by Emmett Moore

Once we got to Rogers, it was an absolute swarm to get through the crowd. But the view from our seats made up for the swarms of people– it was breathtaking. From my seat on the bottom of the upper level, I had a perfect view of center court. The sold-out area was electric even before tip-off. It was an absolute blast sitting there, listening to everyone cheering and excited to see sports in our hometown. The mascot of the day was Hunter, our very own Oilers mascot, dressed up in the latest Raptors fashion. He did a fantastic job of keeping everyone entertained, but that might be a little bit of hometown bias.

Tip off! The game started off very slow, as both teams were shaking off their vacation cobwebs. As they got used to being back on the court, the ball transferred hands several times due to bad passes and out of bounds turnovers. The first goal set the tone of the whole game. Lauri Markannaen of the Utah Jazz scored the first bucket off a difficult takeaway. The Raptors starters played intermittently throughout the first half, and the game had a one point difference by half time. Raptors center, Precious Achiuwa, got an amazing athletic dunk on Walker Kessler of the Jazz and it sent the crowd into an uproar. New bench signing, Jeff Dowtin Jr., made bodies touch the ground in the second half as he danced through the court. To end off the game, star substitutes Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn took over, and the rest of the Raptors bench, apart from a few players, played strongly. They ended the game with a 32-point lead and a very entertaining game for the Edmonton crowd.

Overall, it was a great game. Both teams played exciting basketball, and the timeouts were filled with entertaining performers. There were plenty of t-shirt tosses and giveaways to keep the crowd riled up. Rogers Place made for a great basketball arena, and the electric crowd was the perfect pair. What a game to watch and what a crowd to enjoy it.

cover photo via twitter @raptors

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