There may be no more impressive spot in the entire NBA loaded with supportive fans than Jurassic Park in Toronto. And with the 2019 NBA Finals now officially here, fans across the league have gotten a glimpse of the scene at Jurassic Park, an area outside of the Toronto Raptors’ Scotiabank Arena.
When the Raptors clinched their spot in the NBA Finals by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks during a game played in Toronto, the scene outside of the arena was second to none. The team was generous enough to give a glance of the crowd outside on Twitter as time was set to expire during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
To be clear, these are fans who are in attendance to watch the game outside of the arena. They didn’t get tickets, maybe didn’t care about getting tickets, but made sure to show up in order to support the Raptors’ pursuit of their first-ever NBA Finals trip.
Toronto Raptors Fans Flock to Jurassic Park for NBA Finals
It goes without saying that Raptors fans have waited for this moment, but their excitement ahead of Game 1 of the series against the Golden State Warriors pushed the fandom of many to another level. As Kamil Karamali of Global News Toronto revealed, one fan by the name of Brandy Exner was in line at Jurassic Park prior to Game 1, which featured a 9 p.m. tip time, at 3:55 a.m. on Thursday.
She wasn’t alone either, as the line to enter Jurassic Park and get a prime spot to watch the Raptors begin the NBA Finals grew rapidly throughout the early-morning hours. As Matt Bonesteel of The Washington Post pointed out, fans weren’t even allowed to enter the viewing area until 3 p.m., so the wait would be a long one for many.
According to NBA.com, it’s expected that more than 5,000 fans will be at Jurassic Park for Game 1.
Drake Holds Down Fort at Jurassic Park During NBA Playoffs
While the Raptors trailed in their Eastern Conference Finals matchup with the Bucks 2-0 early on, they proceeded to win both games on their home floor. This sent the series back to Milwaukee tied at two games apiece and created a tense scene at Jurassic Park for Game 5.
The magnitude of that matchup, which would give the Raptors the chance to close out the series at home with a win, was wildly apparent. It was so big that hip-hop artist and Raptors fan Drake showed up at the watch party, taking a spot on the stage, as Sportsnet’s Tim & Sid revealed on Twitter.
As we know, Toronto went on to win that game 105-99 and then finish off the series in front of their loyal fanbase with a 100-94 victory just two days later. While Jurassic Park was a wildly popular spot for Raptors fans during away games during the playoffs, it’s also drawing massive crowds when the team plays at home.
This can’t be considered all that surprising, as Cassandra Szklarski of the Toronto Star reported Game 1 tickets at Scotiabank Arena were selling for an average of $5,000, with the least-expensive option coming in at $816.