Kelowna's Raptors fans enraptured - InfoNews

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Kelowna's Raptors fans enraptured

Fans celebrate from the "Jurassic Park'' fanzone outside of Scotiabank Arena as the clock ticks down before the Toronto Raptors win game 4 of the NBA finals, 105 to 92, against the Golden State Warriors in Toronto on Friday, June 7, 2019.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
June 10, 2019 - 3:38 PM

KELOWNA - Business has been booming at local pubs since the Raptors embarked on their history-making run toward the NBA Championship.

And with Game 5 tonight, June 10, against the Golden State Warriors, the excitement — not to mention the stakes — are higher than ever.

Daniel Watterson, manager at Kelowna's Canadian Brew House on Pandosy, said they are currently preparing for a normally slow Monday to turn into a full-blown celebratory affair.

“We’ve been packed every Raptors game and we’ve been booked for this game all week,” said Watterson.

“It’s been crazy here. Atmosphere-wise, it’s been amazing, everyone is super pumped. I never realized so many Raptors fans in Kelowna.”

It’s been a similar state of affairs over at the Train Station Pub, which has even been rolling out Raptors trivia in the lead up to the game.

“Sales have been up by 25 to 50 per cent,” said April Roy, operations manager at the Train Station Pub.

Even their staff are getting in on the excitement, and are planning to don their Raptors gear for tonight’s game.

“I’m eager to see what comes down the pike,” said Roy, adding that there will be specials tonight to coincide with the big game.

“We don’t normally see basketball fans, but it’s exciting to see our Canadian team do so well.”

In West Kelowna, WINGS has been also playing the game, and manager Karen Bengrit, said it’s been busy there as well, though she’s not sure if it’s the Raptors or the fact that they’re brand new that’s bringing in the crowds. 

This is the Raptors first-ever appearance in the NBA Finals, roughly 24 years after the franchise’s first steps.

Other places to watch the game locally are the Mission Tap House, Dakotas and Rustys.

Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry and company are set to face off against the Golden State Warriors at 6 p.m.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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