Raptors Fans Flood Streets of Toronto With Hopes of NBA Championship

TORONTO -- The line to get into Jurassic Park wraps all the way down Lakeshore Boulevard  and takes a left at Bay Street.

Rain soaked fans don't have a golden ticket to the game. They are clamoring for position to stand outside Scotiabank Arena where Game 5 of the NBA Finals will play on a giant boards.

Some of these fans have been sitting outside the arena since Friday, camping out just to watch the game with other Raptor fans.

The city is buzzing. With their team on the brink of winning an NBA Championship for the first time since their inception prior to the 1995-96 season, there is an excitement in the air.

It's a young franchise and a young fanbase. They've had some success, but their legends include Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady and 42-year-old Vince Carter, who still plays in the league.

NBA basketball hasn't even reached a quarter century in Toronto, but that doesn't mean Canadian's haven't embraced the game. The city is ready to erupt with celebration and it doesn't feel the least bit disingenuous.

"Just get it over with, give us our win," Meagan Budd said from behind the bar at the Delta hotel a block away from the arena.

For every playoff game, Meagan sports a hand-me-down sweatshirt purchased by her father during the Raptors inaugural season in 1995. It's gotten plenty of use this year.

A long time season ticket holder, Steve Budd passed away in 2016, but his love for the team lives on through his daughter and a dinosaur ladened grey pullover.

Doug and Zac Tiessen started camping out for Jurassic Park on Saturday afternoon. The father and son duo have had the time of their lives, bonding with each other and fellow Raptors fans while waiting in line through the grueling changes in weather.

"We do a lot of things together, but never Jurassic Park," Doug said.

The two live about an hour outside the city. With the game set to tip off at 9 pm EST, they now stand at the front of a line of thousands.

"When Game 4 finished with Raptors possibly closing here tonight, we knew we had to come," Zac said while wearing an original Raptors hat that used to be his grandfather's.

Earlier on Monday, the Tiessens, along with the two other lucky fans that had been waiting in line since Friday, were approached by local grocery chain and handed tickets to the game.

After waiting for days, they won't even get to experience Jurassic Park. They'll be inside the building cheering on the Raptors first hand and with a roof over their heads.

The city is filled with transplants from all over the globe. A true melting pot of cultures, Toronto is a perfect host city to spread the NBA brand around the world.  

Win or lose, the good people of Toronto have represented well. You can't walk five feet without seeing a jersey or a shirt.

When a Warriors fan is spotted, they instantly are booed by hordes of people on the street. Raptors fans are a passionate group and they are ready to celebrate in the streets of Toronto.

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