Watch video above: DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson finally get their first shot at the playoffs with the Raptors. Rob Leth reports.
TORONTO – Despite the Maple Leafs not making the playoffs this year, Toronto sports fans will still have another hometown team to cheer for as the Raptors start their post-season run against the Brooklyn Nets at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday.
Tip-of will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET as the 3rd seeded Raptors try to win their first playoff series in more than a decade.
The Atlantic Division champions are coming into the playoffs on a good streak by winning six of its final eight regular season games.
However, getting tickets to attend the much sought-after NBA series will be hard to come by, not to mention a huge hit on your wallet.
According to Forbes, owner Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which also owns the Raptors, is charging the highest premium for playoff tickets in the league – 242.5 per cent over regular season ticket prices.
WATCH: Dave Hopkinson, Chief Commercial Officer at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment talks about the “We The North” campaign on The Morning Show.
That premium means the average ticket price is a whopping $370 for a Game 1 ticket.
Still, those who are able to afford a seat will be watching a professional basketball franchise many say is on the upswing.
The Raptors recently released a new “We The North” marketing campaign the team says will headline a new revolution.
“This is the statement we want to make to Canada and I think this is the chip we have, which is we’re the north and there’s no one else,” Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president Tim Leiweke said Wednesday from New York.
The new campaign also features a 60-second video that kicks off a massive franchise rebrand over the next two years.
“This is a crusade now,” Leiweke said. “This is not just a rally cry, this is, I think, our identity.”
WATCH: “We The North” video.
The team is still finalizing release plans for other components of the campaign. However, new colours and a new logo will be rolled out “in short order,” Leiweke said.
As for the playoffs, the Raptors plan to take a page from the Maple Leafs playbook by hosting a “Party in the Square” in Maple Leaf Square outside Air Canada Centre for playoff games this spring.
TORONTO RAPTORS 2014 PLAYOFFS – ROUND ONE SCHEDULE
Saturday, April 19 at Air Canada Centre (12:30 p.m.)
Tuesday, April 22 at Air Canada Centre (8 p.m.)
Friday, April 25 at Barclays Center (7 p.m.)
Sunday, April 27 at Barclays Center (7 p.m.)
Wednesday, April 30 at Air Canada Centre (TBD)
Friday, May 2 at Barclays Center (TBD)
Sunday, May 4 at Air Canada Centre (TBD)
With files from Jamie Sturgeon and The Canadian Press