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Thousands flock to Regina's Jurassic Park for Raptors' historic win
Thousands of fans flocked to Regina’s Jurassic Park at Mosaic Stadium on Thursday night to watch the Toronto Raptors’ historic win.
The Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors 114-110, clinching their first NBA Championship in franchise history.
On Monday, more than 13,000 people came out to the stadium to watch Game 5. Organizers expanded the concession offerings and brought it free transit service ahead of Thursday night’s Game 6.
Thursday’s event started at 5 p.m. so fans could watch the Riders first game of the CFL season on the big screen. Basketball then took over the big screen.
"I’m a big rider fan than I am a raptors fan but I think in this case the raptors going for their first championship is bigger in this case,” Rider/Raptors fan Russ Townend said.
"This is the NBA final. The whole nation is watching. It's a game you can't miss,” Rider/Raptors fan Brian Mohr said.
Evraz Place says 10,051 people came out to watch the games, about 3,800 fewer than Monday.
Once the Raptors game took over the big screen, the Riders game was shown on the smaller screen in the stadium.
"It’s starting to get sore on the neck here, I’m a huge Rider fan… when there is a football play going on I catch that, and as soon as the football play is over, I’m watching the Raptors,” Mohr said.
Some fans even wore both a Rider jersey and a Raptors jersey to the game.
"I wanted to rock both of them because you got to support them both right? Riders are the hometown, raptors are like Canada’s basketball team so, got to rock both things,” Townend said.
"There's both games going on at the same time so why not,” Rider/Raptors fan Braden Thomson said.
With so many people becoming fans of the sport during the Raptors playoff run, the University of Regina’s Men’s basketball coach says the win is only going to help grow the sport in Canada.
"People that were interested in the game before are probably even more passionate about it and those that maybe weren't that interested are certainly going to want to try it. So, I think it could do nothing but enhance the game,” U of R Men’s Basketball Head Coach Steve Burrows said.
Whether fans can expect to see more away Rider games at Mosaic Stadium, Evraz Place says "While we are always open for opportunities, we have not had conversations about doing this for Rider away games moving forward."