Excited and slightly anxious Raptors fans have been waiting hours in the rain for their team to take a second shot at winning this year’s N-B-A championship.
Supporters brought tents, tarps and umbrellas to a long lineup for Jurassic Park, the fanzone outside the team’s arena in downtown Toronto.
Game 6 is set for a 9 p.m.eastern time start in Oakland, California.
Despite the dreary weather, and the crowd grew steadily through the day.
The Raptors currently lead the Golden State Warriors 3-2 in the best-of-seven series after losing by a single point on Monday.
A win tonight would mean the team secures the title for the first time in franchise history – a milestone fans say they want to be a part of – even from a distance.
Daniel Zhang came in from Markham, Ont. shortly after midnight and is skipping his high school prom to watch the game with fellow fans.
Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, donned his now-signature black-and-gold Raptors blazer to visit the crowd earlier in the day and plans to be back in the evening.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the downtown Scotiabank Arena and the Raptors franchise, says it will be monitoring the weather and could even move fans into the arena should conditions grow severe.
The city also plans to shut down several nearby streets in anticipation of an overflow crowd.
Fans rooting for Canada’s only NBA team elsewhere in the country also have a chance to watch the game among a mob of their peers.
Halifax is planning an outdoor block party, Montreal will shut down two city blocks to allow people to cheer on the Raptors, and several cities in Ontario – including Mississauga, Brampton, Kingston and London – had viewing events planned.
Further west, Regina planned to show the game on a massive screen at the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ home stadium while in Edmonton, fans can head to the Edmonton Expo Centre to watch the game.
Select Cineplex Odeon theatres across the country were also offering free screenings of the game, which begins at 9 p.m. ET.