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Cleaver Joins Missouri, Kansas Delegation to Invite Toronto Raptors to Kansas City

Oct 27, 2020
Press Release
“In the event the Toronto Raptors seek a temporary home for the 2020-2021 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, please note our strong support for Kansas City to serve as the team’s host city”

(Kansas City, MO) – Today, United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, along with U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), encouraged the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Toronto Raptors to select Kansas City as the team’s host city should they seek a temporary home for the 2020-2021 NBA season.

“If there are three things I know about Kansas City, it’s that we love our jazz music, we love our barbecue, and we absolutely love our sports,” said Congressman Cleaver. “What we may lack in market size, we more than make up for in location, loyalty and fanatical fervor, which is why I sincerely believe Kansas City is the right choice should the Toronto Raptors need a temporary home next season. I am proud to join Mayor Lucas and my congressional colleagues in putting this stake in the ground and letting the world know: Kansas City is open, and the NBA should give us our shot.”

In a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Toronto Raptors Ownership, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the lawmakers wrote:

“Kansas City sports fans are unmatched, already providing an avid fanbase for the Chiefs, the Royals, Sporting—and would be eager to extend that support to the Raptors. Our T-Mobile Center, a first-class arena located in the heart of downtown, would make a great home for the Raptors as they look to match last season’s impressive winning record.”

“Kansas City is well-suited to host the Toronto Raptors for the 2020-2021 NBA season and our dynamic fans would be thrilled to adopt the team as our own. On behalf of our bi-state region, we thank you for your consideration of Kansas City as you move forward in the selection process.”

You can find the lawmakers’ official letter here.


Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Matt Helfant at 202-590-0175 or A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.