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Home court: The Toronto SkyDome. For basketball, the seating capacity is 22,911, but the team will open up additional sections to accommodate up to 35,000 spectators if the demand merits. In the fall of 1997, the team is slated to move into the new Air Canada Centre nearby.

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Owner: A consortium of Canadian business interests. Former NBA all-star Isiah Thomas, the team's general manager, has a small share.

Nickname: Raptors is short for velociraptor dinosaurs (made famous as the bad guys in ''Jurassic Park'') and was selected in a name-the-team contest

Coach: Brendan Malone

Top players: Carlos Rogers, John Salley, and rookie Damon Stoudamire.

Tickets: $5 to $91 Canadian ($3.65-$66 US).

Miscellaneous.: The Raptors' home court will have a distinctive herringbone pattern, with decorative silver velociraptor footprints crossing the center line. Toronto's merchandise line has ranked No. 7 among NBA teams in worldwide sales since the team's name and logo were unveiled in May 1994.


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Home court: General Motors Place (capacity 20,004), Vancouver.

Owner: Businessmen Arthur Griffiths of Vancouver and John McCaw of Seattle.

Nickname: Grizzlies chosen to ''represent the culture, geography, and heritage of Western Canada,'' according to the team.

Coach: Brian Winters.

Top players: Byron Scott, Benoit Benjamin, and rookie Bryant (Big Country) Reeves.

Tickets: $15 to $65 Canadian ($11 to $47 US).

Miscellaneous: Although the Grizzlies (Midwest) and Raptors (Central) are in different divisions, they will meet twice in the regular season. On Oct. 21 they played an exhibition game, the inaugural Naismith Cup, won by Toronto, 98-77. The Grizzlies have contributed $250,000 (Canadian) to the protection of grizzly bear habitat.

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