Best Seats in the House: a guide to the celebs and Bay Streeters who cheer on the Raptors

Best Seats in the House: a guide to the celebs and Bay Streeters who cheer on the Raptors

The high-profile spectators who’ve made Raps games the hottest ticket in Toronto sports

Celebrity Watch: Best Seats in the House

Half the fun of NBA fandom is peeping stars sitting courtside. Unfortunately, for a long time, Raps games were as celestial as a bag of fertilizer. No longer. Last fall, that rascally love-’em-leave-’em super-exec Tim Leiweke named Drake the organization’s global ambassador, and the wattage of home games suddenly surged. So did the fringe benefits of season’s tickets. Here, the luminaries who have sat courtside in the era of Drizzy, and the high-rolling fans who have a front-row view of all the action.

Emo-rapper Drake
April 2014
Executed an aggressive 10-second lint-roll during the playoffs against the Nets. The courtside preening was captured on camera, preserving the moment for posterity.
Feather-haired sex symbol Jon Bon Jovi
October 2013
Came to town to discuss bringing the Buffalo Bills to the city with Larry Tanenbaum and Rogers. Was the filling in a Leiweke-Tanenbaum courtside sandwich as they watched the Raps beat the Celtics to start the season.
Bacardi-chugging lyricist 50 Cent
April 2014
Despite being a New York native, wore a “Northern Uprising” snapback, askew just so, during the Raps’ playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets.
Hannibal star Laurence Fishburne
January 2014
Was pulled onto the court, possibly a few cocktails deep, during the peak of Fordgate. Yelled into the mike, “Rob Ford, now that you’ve had your come-to-Jesus moment, let’s crack-a-lack it, playa,” which didn’t make much sense to anyone.
Hip-hop hipster Macklemore
November 2013
Gleefully chucked Raps T-shirts into the crowd at halftime and hobnobbed with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade post-game.
NBA stud Andrew Wiggins
April 2014
Played it cool when Drake’s song “Draft Day,” which features a shout-out to him, played over the speakers.
Sochi snowboarder Mark McMorris
April 2014
Showed off his bronze medal on camera, eliciting a sustained standing O from the crowd.
Leafs netminder Jonathan Bernier and wife Martine
January 2014
Ate popcorn and canoodled.
Blue Jays slugger Adam Lind
January 2014
Showed up wearing an Indiana Pacers hat (he’s from there), which he removed at staff’s gentle urging.
Game of Thrones actors
February 2014
In town to promote the Game of Thrones Season Three DVD, Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor) got a taste of our long winter and watched the Raps lose by a bucket to the Bulls.

Celebrity Watch: Best Seats in the House

Paradise ($84,765 per season)

David Kassie
Canaccord Genuity


Perry Dellelce
Wildeboer Dellelce

Bhatia’s Baseline ($44,489 per season)

Super-fan Nav Bhatia
Mississauga Hyundai

Hollywood Row ($44,489 per season)

John Bitove
Sirius XM Canada, Mobilicity, Raptors founder

Larry Tanenbaum
MLSE and Kilmer

Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman
Onex and Indigo

Edward Sonshine

Ira Gluskin
Gluskin Sheff

Mike Wekerle
Difference Capital and Dragon’s Den

Bay Street South ($44,489 per season)

Bruce Croxon
Round 13 Capital

Sheldon Inwentash
Pinetree Capital

High-Roller Heaven ($18,668 per season)

Barry Allan
Marret Asset Management

Jim McGovern
Arrow Capital