The Latest: Raptors, Lightning to play without fans for now

Newcastle's Jamaal Lascelles and Sean Longstaff, right, take the knee before the start of the English FA Cup third round soccer match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London, England, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Newcastle's Jamaal Lascelles and Sean Longstaff, right, take the knee before the start of the English FA Cup third round soccer match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London, England, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The Toronto Raptors and Tampa Bay Lightning won’t have fans at home games in Tampa, Florida, until at least Feb. 5.

Vinik Sports Group, which owns the Lightning and Amalie Arena, announced Saturday the organization wouldn’t admit fans because coronavirus cases in the area have “risen sharply.”

Florida reported nearly 20,000 new cases on Friday as the pandemic surges there. The state has recorded more than 1.4 million cases since the pandemic began.

“We are not comfortable bringing large numbers of fans indoors to watch hockey or basketball right now,” said Steve Griggs, CEO for Vinik Sports Group and the Lightning. “We are hopeful to reopen the arena soon after we see declining rates and better overall numbers.”

The defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning open the season at home Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Raptors were one of about a half dozen NBA teams to permit a limited number of fans at home games, with 3,800 tickets available for each game.